Robert Hampton

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31st December 2011

2011 – more like Twenty E-Heaven!
Posted by at 5.04pm | It's My Life | No responses

2011 will surely be remembered as the year I lost my blogging mojo. Certainly from August until mid-December, there has been a dearth of postings. Well, it has been a quiet time in the world, after all.

The lack of activity here on the site is in stark contrast to the activity in my life. There’s been a hell of a lot going on for me – I just, er, didn’t tell you about it.

Travel was on the agenda: this was the year I left the UK for the first time in 25 years, when I visited visited Estonia. Less exotically, I started my Station Master blog (currently in hibernation, but back with a bang in 2012, I promise). I also found time in September to celebrate my birthday with a weekend in London, and had a smashing day out in, er, Birmingham.

Yes, 2011 was the year I got out and about a lot. I didn’t even allow the swiping of my iPhone, by an expert pickpocket, to dissaude me.

I got up close and personal(ish) with McFly at their Liverpool concert, after my friend Andrew got tickets. I also saw Beautiful Thing, in its original stage incarnation, in Manchester. I failed, however, to get tickets to the Olympics.

An event which required no tickets was Liverpool Pride, which was great fun despite a funding shortfall which enforced a change of location. 2011 was really the year when “gay” really did mean “happy” for me. The cap on it all came in the Autumn, when I gained and then lost a boyfriend (it lasted only a few months, but the important thing is it happened).

Finally, with only days to go, I fulfilled one of my new year resolutions for 2011, by doing a videoblog – believe it or not, this grainy, poorly-lit video promises great things for the future.

So that was 2011. Hopefully 2012 will be just as, if not more rewarding for me. Maybe I’ll even write a blog post or two about it. Or not. Happy New Year everybody!

13th November 2011

Dream a little Dream
Posted by at 10.25pm | Stage | 3 responses

Friday night I went with Andrew to see Beautiful Thing at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Nearly two decades after it was written, it’s still surely the finest thing Jonathan Harvey has ever done. His trademark pop culture references perhaps do date the script a bit, but I wouldn’t have wanted them to update it; this is a play that is very much of it’s time (and a namecheck for Bob’s Full House is always going to please me, personally).

I certainly can’t fault this production: it’s well-staged with universally excellent performances, especially from the actors playing Jamie and Ste.

The film adaptation was the first gay-themed film I ever saw, as a 20-year-old proto-gay. I remember racing upstairs with the Amazon package and holding the DVD in my hands, regarding it with the same sense of wonder that Jamie and Ste have for the smuggled copy of Gay Times. I watched the DVD with the remote control permanently in one hand, ready to switch to something more innocuous if my mum barged in unexpectedly, as she had a habit of doing.

The final scene of the play, as with the film, doesn’t fails to bring a tear to the eye.

Anyway, the play is on at the Royal Exchange until 3rd December. I highly recommend you go and see it, but be quick – tickets are reportedly selling out fast!