Saturday, December 15, 2007

Will Self & Ralph Steadman @ Lewes

Last night (14/12/07) I went to see a talk given by Will Self & Ralph Steadman at the All Saints Centre in Lewes. It was partly based on a book they had done together called Psychogeography. This is a collection of Will's columns for the Independent newspaper along with Ralph's illustrations.

It started with Will reading extracts from a couple of the articles. One about a trip to India when he was a youth and one about a walk from Lewes to Eastbourne. It seems that Will likes walking and has previously walked from his home in London down to Newhaven in four days. There then followed a Q&A session where he revealed a bit more about his walking habits.

After the interval Ralph joined him on stage and gave a talk about his favourite surrealist artists. This was illustrated by his drawings and featured an imaginary conversation between him, Luis Brunel and Marcel Duchamp. This didn't flow quite as smoothly as it could as the chap manning the laptop wasn't sure when to change slides to keep pace with the story.

They made a funny pair, Will tall and elegant with a marvellous turn of phrase, and Ralph who looks a bit like your dad did after he retired. It seems the articles were a two way collaboration as sometimes Ralph responded to Wills writing and sometimes it was the other way round. Where the darkness of the drawings come from we may never know, though Ralph did allude to having dark dreams. Shame no one asked him about hunter S Thompson either.

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