Q&A: Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson

PENNY: A really magical film, and a very interesting film
to see this week, the week of an election
which has rather terrifying prospects. And a film that kind of
defies description. Somebody was asking me last week
what it was about and I couldn’t really explain it, which is wonderful in these days
of very formulaic TV and a certain kind of storytelling that we’ve come to accept
as the only way of telling stories. So, um… It’s kind of… I want you to tell me. I feel it’s a film about vulnerability,
and we’re all vulnerable. And about, I think something that Andrea
has described as “waywardness”, and a celebration of that. So, the first time I saw it
was in Nomadic Gardens, where a lot of the film was shot, which has now gone to make way
for something tidier and more corporate. I don’t know what that would be, but it won’t be anything like as wild
and wonderful as it was at that time. So, I’d like to ask Andrea first, what was the process and what film
did you think you were making? I mean, the process was really trying
to figure out how we could work together in the collaboration that also really
extended to the people in the film. So, the way in which
I particularly like to work is… I think there’s a lot of overlaps
between our practices, except one is theatre, one is film,
which is so different. It’s really profoundly different,
even though there are overlaps. It is about making spaces for people
to inhabit the spaces and to go beyond the expository
or beyond the… …this is just as we have seen
by the mainstream lens or by the kind of public lens often. I come from a background, too, that is… You know, I grew up on a big council
estate and my mum was an alcoholic and I didn’t go to school and I didn’t
have an education and all that stuff, and I was always seen
as that which had to be rescued and misrepresented all the time, right? So, for us both,
but if I’m talking about me, it was really crucial to show
that we are… we are full of poetry. And I want to claim that space. I want to claim art
as a means for all of us. It’s not just for the privileged,
which it has become. You know, representation
is so one-directional, rather than multiple and full
of difference that we actually celebrate. And for me, this is important
and that’s where waywardness come in. It’s also obstinance. It’s like a refusal
to be that which we are supposed to be, or to be assigned to the role
that we have been assigned to. And without, though, letting go of the
real struggles that this entails also, and the kind of claim to decent housing and the claim to being able to live
and survive. But we’re not doing that as victims. We’re doing that through being a survivor,
which is a very strong position, I think. – Mm.
– Yeah. Adrian, could you talk a bit
about the process, about how people came to be involved,
how you chose the people? Did they know each other before? Quite a lot of the people
knew each other before. Most of the people in the film,
nine out of the ten people in the film, were people who’ve been involved
in my theatre company that I work with, Cardboard Citizens. So, basically, Andrea and I introduced
a lot of people we knew to the other one, and we did a lot of workshops –
theatre based workshops. Which combined things about storytelling and things about how you tell yourself
in different ways like that, really. And then we arrived
at this group of people, and this is a group of people, all of whom
had been involved in making art, more or less, in different ways,
for about ten years or more. Many of them…
Some of them I’ve known for 20 years. So, I think it was a good…
it was a good encounter with Andrea’s practice
and my own practice, which is based on truth, based on lived lives, but is also keen to avoid a prurient
gaze – a nosey gaze, if you like. So, it’s a delicate line to harness everything that people bring
to a work like this, which is quite raw and quite open and
people make themselves quite vulnerable, without it becoming that gaze. And I’m happy to say
I think that has broadly been achieved. Andrea, how much of it was improvised? For example, when two people
are overlapping, telling their stories
about nicking a bike, about really wanting a bike
and nicking it, how did that come about? Were they each telling a story they’d told
you before? How did that happen? ANDREA: There were a lot of things
that came out in the workshop, and for me to also see how Adrian works
in relationship to story-spotting, within a forum theatre method. Out of that came this kind of interesting
thing we both explored, and tried to see what would happen if two people say the same story
at the same time. And it’s a really hard thing to do
for actors, right? Because you can’t listen
to the other person, but you have to listen just enough
that you get the timing right. So, we tried it many, many,
many times and I just… It’s something that happens
in this fast… swapping of trying to do community
building or group building. I just loved it when I first saw it. I think it’s the closest meeting
of our practice, in a kind of way. Because it’s about that thing
that is picked up with… Or Ben talking about folk music
being the song of everybody. It’s sort of when can people
own a story together? So I think that’s why Andrea particularly
liked it, and they do it so brilliantly. It’s so sparky and amazing. The story of the bike, but there’s a number of occasions
when they’re using that technique. It just says something itself
about sharing of stories, about shared ownership of a narrative
and common experience, I suppose. And things like the dog in the bath. – (LAUGHTER)
– What happened? So, it’s my dog, and she was a stray. When I first got her
she was obsessed with water. Then on the day when we were filming
in Jono’s house I had to have her with me because
I didn’t have anyone to look after her. She was always meant to be in the film,
but not as much initially. Then we ran the bath for John
to brush his teeth and do meditation in and she was, like, “I’m gonna get in
there! I’m gonna get in there!” And we were, like,
“We might as well have her come in.” So, Therese held her and I set the camera
up, Jono went in and that was it. It was, like, very easy. So we just… It’s the same
as with people, you observe stuff, right? Then things become possible,
just by looking properly. And the animal always
is the witness, for me, in film. In all my films
there are a lot of animals. The reason is because they see us
as who we are, rather than as a number or as an other,
or as a dehumanised thing. So they will recognise you.
“Oh, you’re human.” They’ll either be afraid of us or they’ll
be kind to us because we give them food. So, I think animals are really important
witnesses around power, for me, as a metaphor, I guess. PENNY: Would… I know that some of the
people in the film are in the audience. Would you like to come… I’m afraid there’s only three chairs! But come and join us and… Yeah. – Is that all right?
– ERROL: (ON MIC) Just testing. OK, you’ve got the mic,
so I think you should go ahead. What was it like for you working
on the film and how did that come about? It was… How did I come in…? I was invited because I’m a cyclist
and an actor and I’d been working with Adrian
for many, many years. And so I got involved with the research and then I wasn’t in it for a long time
then I was brought in at the last minute. So I was a bit of an angel.
Um… And it was… (SIGHS) It was one of the hardest things I’ve done because it felt like it was really,
really dysfunctional. It was looking at society, and we weren’t
quite sure what we were making ever. And due to the dysfunction
of the whole thing, it’s created this piece
that I feel is quite “of now”, which is society
at its most dysfunctional. (LAUGHING) Or its most functional. Because it’s also a film about love,
isn’t it? And how people who generally… If you say there’s a film about people
who have mental illness and addiction and poverty and homelessness,
you would imagine somehow there’s pity or condescension involved,
and there just is not. So, it’s a celebration also.
Do you want to talk a bit about how…? I think you’re absolutely right. I think it’s to do a lot
with three things – love, faith and hope. I think that’s what the film
depicts a lot, you know, a loving society, being a community. Faith, you know, having this hope that you’re going to overcome something
that’s traumatic in your life, and overcoming it
and seeing the other side. And, um… What’s the other word I said? – PENNY: Uh… Faith…
– FLOOR: Faith, hope and love. I said the hope bit.
I said the faith bit, didn’t I? – You said the love bit.
– Love? You know, there’s not enough of it,
and I think… No, no. There’s not enough of it
because we’re living, politically, now, especially,
it’s dog-eat-dog in London, you know. No one trusts anybody. No one wants to even look at anybody
in London, you know. It’s kind of lost it and we’re kind of
living for just… for now. We’re not… You know, there is no sense
of community, and I think with the film it actually
shows that there is hope for that – if people can just trust. It’s a trust thing
because you’re sharing your stories. – You get to know people by doing that.
– Yeah. So, you know, it shows a lot of that. Errol? – So, what was the question?
– Any question you like. Any question? Oh, right.
I’ll just ask myself the question. OK. (LAUGHTER) You know, it was a…
It was a totally involved process and there was loads of stuff going on so we had these little workshops
beforehand, you know what I mean? Certain things were devised and certain
things were just filmed on the fly. But I noticed,
whenever Andrea talks, yeah, whenever Andrea talks about the film,
that wasn’t my memory of the film, yeah? So, that scene where myself and Kamby
are talking about the bike scene, you know what I mean,
about my first nicking of a bike and we’re sharing the story. I remember that was one take. I wanted to do it again
and she wouldn’t let us! – (LAUGHTER)
– So, um… But yeah, it was a… Dare I say it? It was a therapeutic process,
you know what I mean? Because we had to talk about loads
of stuff, you know. And even watching it
is a bit of a therapeutic process and a bit of a challenging process
because, you know, my idea of a film… I tell people I’m gonna be in a film…
I’m in a film, my friends, and they expected me to be
at least driving a car or getting off with about
five different women or something! (LAUGHTER) And I have to say, “No, no, no. Change
your mind about what you think is a film.” You know what I mean? This Hollywood idea. Because there’s different ways of,
you know, framing stories and different ways of, you know what
I mean, portraying what is going on rather than the usual Hollywood,
Netflix type of style. So, I’ve definitely grown as a person, just from watching the film
and just from being in it. You can put your hand over my mouth
at any time! ANDREA: Yeah, I will. PENNY: Can I ask whether
there’s anybody in the audience who’d like to ask a question? – Or to say something?
– ERROL: Yeah, we like questions. – Yeah.
– Kamby. – Kamby!
– (CHEERING) FLOOR: Hello? FLOOR: So… (LAUGHS) FLOOR: So, this question of trust,
how you create the space, the trust. Because you seem to have opened up
a really miraculous place here where people have come together and there have been these glimpses
of really deep, unmapped intimacy, unexpected encounters, you know,
which don’t fall into the usual stories. But they don’t happen
without opening up spaces of trust. So, you’re all… You’ve all come together
and you’ve all got difficult stories, which make trust a very, very hard thing,
I can imagine, as we all find trust hard. So, how did you create
the conditions for trust? FLORIA: Listening. You listen and you’ll be surprised. It’s… You’re not judging anybody.
You’re just listening to their story. That’s all you need, is just to listen. That was one of the things
that really struck me tonight watching, is how carefully
you all listened to each other. It was a very beautiful thing.
That’s a lovely answer. FLOOR: I just wanted to say,
it’s not really… Oh, thank you. (ON MIC) It’s not really a question, it’s
more an observation and congratulations, which is about duration, it seems to me. I think the trust is obviously important, but I think, actually, the fact that
you’ve worked over such a long time, and I imagine that whatever happens next,
there will be some form of work that continues an association
in some way as well. So I just wanted to say how impress… Because I do think duration
and commitment over a period of time, which obviously is such a huge issue, in terms of the type of funding
that one has access to, I want to congratulate you
for the tenacity of that. – Can I reply to this? Did you want to?
– No, no, no. OK, I feel so strongly about this,
I’m glad it comes up. Anyone here who is responsible
for funding art, please do make sure
that there is a process that is allowed. Because every work I’ve made so far,
people afterwards talk about, “We really like the process.
We really want to fund process.” But people,
if Artangel was a gift to us, right, we wouldn’t have had this possibility
because nothing… You know, the film culture in this country
doesn’t fund process very easily. It’s very, very difficult so you have to constantly manoeuvre
and do piecemeal stuff. We were so lucky to have had this, and you can see what is possible when
you trust the people making something. And you know, we weren’t wasteful. We weren’t doing anything exuberant
with the money, apart from making sure that we could
be together and work with people. And I think it’s so important
to allow culture to really live properly because it’s such a profound
part of us, I think. And we have a right to it, right? I’m confident that we will work together.
I mean, we’ve already done things. We will work together again
in different projects and different times. That’s the nice thing about the fact that many people were already
collaborating in different ways. We have this kind of,
um…in Cardboard Citizens, which is good, so it’s not just… (CLICKS FINGERS)
..like that. Yeah, so when it comes…
Sorry, I just want to add to that. When it comes to the trust thing cos, like, I’ve been riding
with the Cits now since 2011, and we’re quite used to talking
about our stories, you know what I mean, because that’s the material
what we make the forum theatre about. So, we’re quite used to the games of, you
know, Theatre of the Oppressed and that. Well, most of us were quite used
to these games which sort of generate stories
and all the rest of it. So, that thing about trust, you know,
when people want to… You know, they talk about a story and then you talk about how it could have
been done differently or better. This idea of wanting to improve
so you risk your story and you risk your story
giving it to people because you know that this is
something that we can use to improve maybe your outcome
or someone else’s outcome. And that will…
Something like that, yeah, yeah! But it’s also, even like to the point
that we don’t start from the person, we start from another thing, we start
it from, say, Bicycle Thieves, right? So, you analyse an external something
and you take that apart and then you say, “When have I been greedy? When have
I felt shame? When have I felt this?” And suddenly, it becomes much more of a
shared language and a shared communality. We recognise each other
without erasing each other. So, we see difference,
but we don’t erase it by empathy. Putting myself into your shoes
doesn’t mean I take away your story. So, that’s a really important difference. We should hear from Kamby,
because she’s just arrived. And so, I don’t know,
just to hear generally. I tell you what, just in case you have
a question that Kamby could answer. Yeah? FLOOR: I was wondering, Andrea and Adrian, whether you could talk a little bit more
about your process, to what extent you knew the kind of film
you wanted to make when you started out, and the kind of film it became
through the process of making it, and whether that transformed. I mean, that’s not… Kamby, then,
but… (LAUGHTER) We started somewhere very different,
is the short answer. And we ended up somewhere
which is very connected, but we went through, as you can imagine,
in the long period of time, trying to, inspired by a film,
as Andrea said, inspired by the film Bicycle Thieves, travelled a long, long way from that film,
but in a weird sort of parallel. Somebody who gave us some advice used the enjoyable verb, “something
that rhymed with Bicycle Thieves”. I think that still is there. If you can feel that rhyme…
Errol can probably feel that rhyme! – ERROL: I can feel that rhyme, man!
– (LAUGHTER) ..it’s still there, but I don’t know
what Andrea wants to say. I think that, um… After the first three years… The first
year was really trying to find the group. The second year was really
trying to find the echoes of the deep archetypes
of like shame, greed, hope. Resilience, like waywardness,
this kind of stuff. Then I remember it, like at some point,
I really knew. I could feel the film.
I can’t really quite describe it. But when I don’t have that feeling
I get really worried, right? And at some point it comes, and I think it was a lot to do with when
the echoes started to become quite free. Like Dungeness happened, for example. So, Richard… We knew we needed
a friendship scene, and Richard said at one of the things
we were listening to years earlier, “I’ve never been to the sea.” So we’re like, “We have to go to the sea.”
So we went to the sea. So, once these kinds of processes
start to become like this and people start suggesting
other things on top of it, like Kamby’s… All the interludes,
they didn’t come from me. They came from observing Kamby
and Kamby doing that stuff, right? So, it’s about finding, knowing people
well enough to really understand, and then suddenly the film kind of…
it finds itself, I guess, it makes itself. It sounds crazy,
but that’s how I always feel about it. Can we ask Kamby to talk a little about
your experience of being in the film? Yes. Sorry I’m late. I was rushing from work to
be here, but I’m glad I’m able to make it. Uh… For me, really, being able to meet
this group really helped me to open up. Because growing up,
I felt like I had so much bottled up and this group,
this project gave me the chance and an openness to be somewhere
I could just hear someone’s story, and it’s like they gave me
the permission to share mine. And it was a beautiful thing. And being able
to build friendships as well. And what also came out
as a result of this project was that I also have a lot of creativity, which was all bottled up
with what I was going through. So, since I was able to share my story, I felt like I could share other things
about me as well. So, like the words that I say before
were meant to comfort me. Now I use them to inspire others, so this has really helped me to,
like, become my own person, and have a group of people
to always talk to and be there for me. Thank you. Kamby, of those ten people
who are featured, Kamby was the only person who came to us
and through that process, because met so many people,
we interviewed so many people… – Floria, we…
– He was already connected with Floria. We’ve known her a long time. But it was a wonderful opportunity
and now Kamby’s part of it. There was someone else
who wanted to say something? FLOOR: I just wanted to ask, and I think
this is primarily for the people who were brave enough
to share their stories… PENNY: I’m sorry, I forgot,
Michael told me to ask people if you could, if you don’t mind,
identifying yourself. FLOOR: OK, yeah, sure.
I’m a former homeless person. – You what, sorry?
– I’m a former homeless person. – ERROL: Former homeless, OK.
– PENNY: Yeah. FLOOR: So, you know, I’m not sure I would
have the courage to do what you’ve done in sharing your stories, putting them
on digital media, putting them on screen where these can now be circulated through
lots of people who you may not ever know. But you certainly gave your trust
in the process to have your stories told. How did you… What were the tensions that
you felt around being able to control the way that some of your stories
were depicted or presented? Cos I can understand it could be
very therapeutic in a group situation, but then this now gets committed on film
and lots of people can now see it. The story’s now out of your hands,
you know. So, in terms of the production processing,
you know, the editing… You talked about there was one take where
you wished you could have done it again – it’s now out there. So, what were the things
that you’ve gone through, in terms of having some control
over what’s finally put out on screen? Shall I take this? Yeah, OK.
So, we had control, know what I mean? So, like, we let off a load, because you can’t have control
during the filming and that. So, you know that trust sort of thing,
you know what I mean, we’re all a family
so we’re letting off everything. There was tons of stuff that we talked
about, tons of areas that we explored. And then, you know, when they were going
to do the final thing, I remember getting invited
into this little cabin place. It was all kind of top secret
type of thing, you know what I mean? And we’d sit there and my scenes were put
in front of me and I had to OK them. You know…
So, that sort of gave us some power. I got to admit, there was a bit that
I didn’t OK because I felt that, you know, I don’t really come across as a shiny,
favourable person in that film. I don’t care, because I’m not a shiny
kind of person, you know what I mean, and I’m into the truth. But there were some things
which I wasn’t agreeable in, like I was caught in a certain light, but I just thought, “I don’t want people
to think I’m like that.” So there was one scene where there’s Sasha
in there and I’m having a go at Sasha. Sasha’s the older lady, yeah? I’m having a go at her
and I’m saying, “You’re old!” We’re arguing about flat Earth,
by the way, you know what I mean? Being a flat Earthist, yeah? And I’m going, “You’re old! “That’s why you can’t take on any more
concepts and all the rest of it!” And when I watched that,
it made me look like a right mug. It just made me look like
this kind of old person – having a go at another older person.
– (LAUGHTER) And I just thought,
“No, it’s going to make me look bad.” So I said, “No, no, no.
You can’t put that in.” But now, you know,
now that I think about it, I think I should have just left it alone. – (LAUGHTER)
– Because it is what it is. You know what I mean,
people do have a go at old people when they don’t understand what you’re
saying or they just don’t agree with you. So, when someone doesn’t agree with you,
you’ve got to attack them in some way, – and age is a good way.
– (LAUGHTER) It could be politics,
it could be anything, but age, do you know what I mean,
it’s a good target. So, yes, we had control, and there’s
a trust thing and there’s a truth thing. If we’re dealing with truth, then let’s
put our bloody truth out there. Yeah, I could have pulled it all out
and polished it. There’s a bit where I interrupt Jono and I could have said, “Yeah,
can we make that a little bit smoother?” But, you know, life isn’t like that,
is it, you know what I mean? And what this film is about is…
that’s what it is. What happened is what you’re getting
without all too much of the polish. Yes, I was promised women and a car, but
it didn’t fricking happen. I’m over it! PENNY: Is there anyone else who would like
to say anything from…? Yeah? If you don’t mind telling us who you are. FLOOR: I’m John. I do have a history
of homelessness a long time ago. Now I’m a writer. It’s a technical question really, I think,
but just in terms of taking 600 hours and then making that
into one and a half hours, how do you do that
and what’s the process for that? ANDREA: I think that there’s an expansion
of hours every screening we have. It started off with 150,
then it became 200! – (LAUGHTER)
– I don’t think it’s 600 hours. – But there were a lot of…
– (LAUGHTER) There may have been more than 150 hours, but there’s a lot of stuff we filmed
for years just as a record, not to ever be included in the film. But then also, like,
what I meant before, after… Once you start understanding
what the film needs to be, it becomes very clear that a lot of stuff
won’t be in the film and what kind of threads
you’re following. Also, to respond back to you,
I think the shape of the film, it’s not just about making people
disclose their stories because a lot of the stories
are also not the people’s own stories. They come from… Some stories
that sound like real stories are actually re-narrations, for example,
of the Bicycle Thieves. I want to just say this – these are
techniques in order to get to a truth that can be more moving to us
because we understand it. That’s what truth is, when we get
to the thing that we understand and we identify with outside of us. Some of the stories are real. For example, Patrick who is talking about
his father being killed on Tower Bridge. He really wanted to tell that story and I was doubtful
for a long time of this story. I said, “Look, we’ve never spoken
about this. This is such a big thing.” And he wanted to tell this story. He told this story several times
and I remember in the last shoot we had, after Billingsgate, he said, “Please go
with me and I want to tell the story.” So, then we filmed this story and then when I made a preselection
of all the stuff, that was out, I think. Then Patrick said, “Can you please put my
story back in?” So it works also that way. I try to… I think I have
sensitivity enough, or we have sensitivity enough
to not trip people up. I think that would be the worst, but you never know, so you have to have
these safeguards in place. People can watch footage twice
before they agree to it. They watch it without context
and then in context after. Patrick really wanted
to have his story in. Every time he’s part of Q&As he’s very… For him it’s a very important part
of the film that his story’s in. So I think we need
to make also these spaces for things that mean a lot to people
when we collaborate with them. The film needs to also be built
around those stories. I really believe those things, right?
We do? I want to know what happened
to Monty Johnson and the gun! – Me too!
– (LAUGHTER) In fact, we could do an entire two hours
filming that. – On his own!
– Just with stories of Monty. ANDREA: He doesn’t stumble
across his father’s story, right? He stumbles across the first one,
he can’t remember, but his… So, for me also in the film
what it does it says when there’s a real memory,
when it’s real, you don’t stumble at all. – Yeah.
– Also, it’s like it’s more than a story. It’s a story, but it’s for us
when we look at it, another kind. And do you describe this
as a documentary or a fiction, or do you have a word
for what this film is? – Yeah, Therese, you should take this.
– Yeah. I don’t know. Neither. Anything. It’s a film, that’s it. I mean, it’s funny because you said you
had a hard time describing what it is. I always feel that way as well. And also, it’s also very hard for me
to describe what my role in it was. I worked for a long time with Andrea
and Adrian on it, since… – Well, since the beginning.
– ERROL: You were the linchpin, I think. But, yeah, I watched a documentary film
yesterday about this Ogawa, this Japanese film collector,
which was really great. He called it “the drama of the process”. I thought that was a really nice way
of describing it. Because… But yeah, it takes time, right? And you have to allow these different
divergence of things… ..going into different directions
that you can’t imagine how that might fit into the end product,
whatever that is, right? Because it’s about the making of it
and I think… Drama of the process
is a great description. – It’s surely not a documentary.
– No, no. – But it’s not fiction, either.
– But it’s not a fiction, either. It’s not a fiction. It’s its own thing. That’s why it’s wayward, because we have
to find our own storytelling shapes, because the established ones
don’t work for us because otherwise we would recognise
ourselves in them. What did you think of the scene
that we did stage, the arrest scene, when I was getting arrested and
all that, and all the police of Brixton? We had to shut down
the whole of Brixton for that. (LAUGHTER) We had to employ everybody
in the police station, didn’t we? I think Artangel sorted that out,
bunged them all a fiver! (LAUGHTER) FLORIA: The beauty about it, actually,
these guys gave us a choice. They weren’t saying, “Say this, say that.” They gave us a choice
of what we wanted to say. There was someone over there
just underneath the camera. FLOOR: (INDISTINGUISHABLE) ..your scene. You liked that scene, yeah?
God, it took us ages to get that right! How many times? About six, seven times? ERROL: About six, seven times
we had to shut down Brixton. ADRIAN: All of Brixton involved! FLOOR: You said there was
a choice… (INDISTINGUISHABLE) FLORIA: Yeah, there was a choice,
so we did it on our own merit. FLOOR: We could feel that,
we really could. – Yeah.
– Well… – Anybody?
– Any more questions? FLOOR: How do you feel about
seeing it now? I mean, right now? Emotional.
Actually, I got quite emotional. Every time I see it, there is a sense…
of emotion. I don’t know. I was just like…
doing that! FLOOR: Is that… (INDISTINGUISHABLE) Well, yeah, certain scenes always come
back to you in a different way. Um… I can’t really describe it. – I don’t know, I felt really emotional.
– ERROL: Mm. I don’t know. Like every screening
I’ve been to, yeah, OK, it’s emotional, but I don’t know why
I got emotional this one. Well, it’s a particular week as well,
isn’t it, this week? And actually, things might turn out
in a way that is very terrifying and… depressing, and actually,
I find this film completely heartening. Because you just think you cannot destroy
the kind of spirit that people have and to refuse to be quelled. – And so, thank you, really.
– ANDREA: Can I make a proposal? – Please.
– Thank you so much, Penny. So, one of the big discussions, right,
since the question came up about agency, I did something which I had to negotiate
with Errol for a very long time. So, any of you who are filmmakers
might understand what that means, which means that the scene is not really
the person, because it’s also a film. A film is… A film has to speak
to those also who don’t know us. So, one has to make certain decisions
around cutting something out… What she’s trying to say is
that she cut my poem in half! Yeah? So, I had a full poem in there
and she cut it in half! – (LAUGHTER)
– That’s what she’s trying to tell you! Then I rang up, I said, “I thought you
was going to keep the full poem in there!” “Wasn’t that the full poem?”
“No, it wasn’t! You cut it in half!” But he can say it now. – Yeah, you want to hear the other half?
– AUDIENCE: Yeah! – Are you sure?
– (APPLAUSE) How much time we got? (LAUGHTER) So, I’m going to do one before that
and then I’m gonna do that one, yeah? Is that all right, yeah?
Maybe I don’t use the mic? – Shall I use the mic?
– (FLOOR SHOUTS OUT) – I heard a yes and a no.
– FLOOR: Yes! All right, we’ll go yes cos there’s hard
of hearing, I should keep that in my head. Well, this ain’t for you
This ain’t for you This isn’t for you because this
This one’s for the London lonely For those who ain’t got a one and only Their hearts have no home
So they roam along the South Bank Look at ’em, staggered file and rank
Eyes cast down and damp This is for those
who don’t do eye contact Cos if they did, you’d feel taken aback
Almost under attack By a sadness caused by delusions
of lack there Dotted around the city
in their dozens and hundreds This one’s for the lonely Londoners
The West End wanderers The Soho stumblers
With chat-up lines on pieces of paper Conversation starters
might come in handy later But this one’s for the… This one’s for the… This one’s for the hesitators The social life procrastinators I mean, people
You know the three-second rule, yeah? If you see someone you like,
you gotta go in straight Get a date
Don’t hesitate When you hesitate
You seal your fate He who hesitates, masturbates. (LAUGHTER) This is for those who daily delete
their internet history And how they’ve ever even had a love life
is a mystery This one’s for the London lonely The ones who feel they are
the ones and only Who’s ever felt like this
Who never ever felt it would come to this They’re the love song mumblers
The romance blunderers So steeped in solitude
Perhaps a cat at home Hardly speak to anyone
Perhaps the cat’s got their tongue But this, this is for those
whose minds ain’t so sound Or maybe they are
and we just need to come around But you see them, they wander around
And up and down Like they were happy once
And as if looking for the source They go back and forth Back and forth On Oyster cards topped up
with a couple of pounds This is for the London lonely Underground
On the Circle line they go round and round This is for those who mind the gap This is for the night bus insomniacs This is for those who often hear “Excuse me, mate.
This bus terminates here.” And this is for those
on the edges of town And this if for those
on the edge looking down Look, no matter where you come from This is for those
who feel they don’t belong Who dine alone so they hunger
As they plunder The depths of their disconnection
with all that is All that is is a delusion of loneliness You know that all is well
That nothing is amiss That all they’ve gotta do
is to follow their bliss But they can’t get a whiff So, you got an exhibition
to see at the Tate Modern Cos you got invited
by that person you fancy like rotten And then later on at Wagamama’s
You got a table booked for eight Cos you got loads of mates
And you got a birthday to celebrate You got people to see
And people to do Well, this ain’t for you
This is for the London lonely For those who ain’t got a one and only Their hearts have no home
So they roam. (AUDIENCE CHEER, APPLAUD) One more, one more. Ah, thank you, thank you. (INDISTINGUISHABLE) Yes, yes, yes. You are looking at
The Spoken Word Artist 2019. I won it not because
I’m the best spoken word artist. I won it because I’m the best
at spamming people… (LAUGHING) ..into surrender! I’ll do this one. Has anyone here
ever seen me before? No, no? You seen me before?
You’ve seen me before? Well, before when you saw me
That was the old me! I wasn’t this new me
that now stands before you I know I look the same
But I’m telling you I’ve changed And this is a brand new me. This is the me that’s resided in me
That’s decided to be And is now demanding expression This is the me that’s required to be
That’s inspired, you see And now, before my confession
This is a new me So excuse me
while I read the warranty and the clause Well, it says here quite clearly
That this here, the new me Is complete, whole and without any flaw The old me would scold me
Many times hold me Told me that I wasn’t good enough
to do shit The best thing about the new me
Is that I now know that the old me Was talking loads of it And you know what’s more?
All that crap I’ve done before I’ve been absolved
The universe isn’t keeping score This is a new me
No longer unruly When things don’t go my way
Or people don’t do as I say That was the old me
You could not console me When I would fly into a rage
But it’s OK Old me’s not around any more
I got him locked up in a cage This is the new me
No more excuses Based on my upbringing and my history I’ve become a bit of a sage
I’ve turned a new page And I’m writing a brand new story This is a new me Now, to express what I think
I transform paper with ink And I save all my rant and my rage
For the stage The new me knows
that there’s nothing wrong with me That what’s right with me can’t fix I’ll give you that for free
I got that from my therapist Now, how to get the best of this new me Best not pick a fight with me The old me was out of control before
You don’t want to invite an encore Shine a light on what’s right with me
If you want to stay tight with me Anyway, this is a new me
There’s an offer, you can do me I love you
Fuck it, sue me The new me is still me
You feel me? I’m just acting with a little bit more
responsibility Oh, you’re gonna become so fond
Of my new-found ability To respond, see?
I’m taking life a bit more seriously Even though I’m still quite boyful But every day the new me
Writes down ten reasons to feel joyful Cos the new me knows
that all that matters is that I feel good And this is something that the old me
never properly understood So, I stand up more straight
I…breathe more deeply I fricking meditate!
And you know what? It’s like I get connected to another state Call it my essence, my spirit, my zing I’m telling you, my bling
Is within And my heart no longer feels
so tight and gloomy It feels more… light and roomy Oh, this new me’s so bright and bloomy! The old me was so criticising But this new me?
Why, I got that kundalini rising And this is just the beginning Cos while those truckle wheels
are spinning I get win-win situations
with all my fellow beings – Do you like this new me?
– FLOOR: Yeah. – Yeah? Uh… Do you wanna do me?
– (LAUGHTER) Listen, I don’t blame you
I would do, too If I could do myself
Which is really ironic Cos I told the old me
to go and fuck himself! If your old you won’t do
Then you gotta be like me And find yourself a brand new you You’ll feel like you got a seat
on the front row pew A room with a view
I said before When you saw me
That was the old me But should I tell you something truly? I was always the new me You just never really Knew me.
– Thank you. All right, all right. I can see… I can see maybe why
she didn’t put the whole poem in there. It is a bit long, ain’t it? Anyway, thank you for listening,
everybody. I’m Uncle Errol.

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