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MEETING JOE STRUMMER
Write Dope on Pnuk part 44
A play not so much about the life of Joe Strummer as how that life affected two fans. The play starts with one character (Nick) listening to 'White Riot' for the first time in 1977. For the other character (Steve) it starts with him listening to the same track before going to a Fire Brigade Union Benefit gig by the Mescaleros in Acton in 2002.
The two characters first met at the infamous Victoria Park Rock Against Racism gig. It was here that The Clash (and Joe in particular) first touch their lives. One follows the radicalism through squats and protests, the other becomes an actor (cue jibes about 'EastEnders', that both have been in). The second half followed the pair through the 'nineties (and sharp observations of drug-induced stupidity) to a final journey to Joe's memorial wood.
The set is simple and bare, dominated by 3 large photographs of Joe. The actors use no props, just sharply timed sound and lights. The actors have both been in 'EastEnders', 'The Bill', 'Holby City' as well as many other shows. Steve was also co-devisor of the play, as he first met Joe Strummer after a gig in 1980, then once more in 2001.
It was a real pity that so few people were there to watch it, as there were probably around 100 in the audience. I'd persuaded an old punk of my acquaintance to go and he really loved it. Probably saw something of himself in the character.
If you get a chance to go, do yourself the favour and scrape the pennies together.
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