I'd heard of the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool, and its epic productions of The Warp
, and much coverage of his PKD inspired monologues on Loose Ends
. He even stood out from Jarman's The Tempest
. I didn't recall him from the various Alf Garnett programmes.
What I'd forgotten was that I'd probably seen him, and certainly saw his plays, at Nottingham Playhouse: certainly Bendigo
and I'm sure he was behind one on navies and another called something like Phantasmagoria
But my closest encounter was at the PKD day at Epping Forest Community College in 1991, when I suggested the term adicks and possibly dickheads to him. As the bar slowly cleared on the Saturday night, it got down to Campbell, James Kneale and myself, drinking single malts. We were treated to an edited highlight of monologues past and present - on Charles Fort, on reading Lo!
, on how incantatory it was, on how he teleported someone from Tottenham Court Road toilets to Newfoundland, and above all on how significant it would be to read Ben Hecht's autobiography A Child of the Century
and how this would help me understand Dick (it's a great read, but it didn't). The sun came up, and in time we snuck James into breakfast. At no time did I feel "But enough about you"; he was genuinely interested in us, but he gave good anecdote.