An Actual Blog For A Change


It was one of those nights. On Thursday evening the rain was coming down stair-rods and it was best to get off the street. My other half was going to the royal premiere of ‘Alice In Wonderland’ (not a night for your best clothes), but I was heading for the Museum of London to hear theatre director/novelist Neil Bartlett talk about the city.

As I walked down my street, I saw someone punching a man and stuffing his body into the boot of a car. It took me a few seconds to click that I had wandered into a night-time film set. The kidnapper was my old friend Sean Pertwee, who always seems to die halfway through any film he’s in. He invited me to stick around and watch the beating, but I was late.

Few people had managed to brave the weather for the museum event, but Mr Bartlett was highly entertaining. He talked about his favourite ‘London’ passages in books, mentioning that the doorstep on which Little Dorrit rests can still be seen, and describing a section from Wilde’s ‘Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime’.

When it was time to leave, myself and a friend became locked in the museum’s stairwell as the curators shut the place up, and I had visions of being stranded there all night. It reminded me also of the story I wrote for ‘Old Devil Moon’ called ‘The Night Museum’, which is possibly the silliest thing I have ever written. After being released some time later by a very embarrassed curator, we needed (and found) a place to drink…

I think certain European cities share this kind of ‘Where the hell is the evening going’ vibe, where events are randomly dictated by outside forces…I feel a story coming on.

4 comments on “An Actual Blog For A Change”

  1. I.A.M. says:

    There’s a 1985 film titled After Hours that’s a bit of that “Where the hell is the evening going?” taken to its probably most unfortunate extreme (well, as unfortunate as is seen to a consumerist, American view-point; Lars von Trier would do something bleaker), and even though its a quarter-century-old its still worth a look.

    [heads in direction of “The Night Museum” on page 65]

  2. Mike Cane says:

    The Invisible Hand?

  3. Paul Burston says:

    We did laugh afterwards, but at the time it was quite scary, wasn’t it? Running up and down those stairs, trying every door. I felt like Regina Fong impersonating Anneka Rice. (Apologies for the somewhat obscure reference – you had to be at the Black Cap pub in Camden about 20 years ago).

  4. I was on that night shoot – it’s a film I wrote called ‘Four’. If I’d known it was Christopher Fowler who wandered by, I’d have shoved Sean out of the way and shaken your hand! It was Sean’s very last scene in the film on the penultimate day of the shoot. By half way through the film he’s still alive on this one.

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