Meeting Joe Strummer: The play
There is no actor playing the part of Joe Strummer because this is not a play about Joe: this is a perceptive, bittersweet comedy-drama that looks at the bonds of friendship forged by shared history, idealism and integrity as it pays tribute to the man who inspired a generation.
As schoolboys, Steve and Nick meet on the march to the legendary Rock Against Racism rally at Victoria Park and, galvanised into action by the performance of the Clash that day, subsequently start a band of their own. The play follows them over three decades as they part and re-connect many times in their lives â through divorce, the Thatcher years and class warfare, the comedy circuit, acid house and a brief flirtation with soap stardom the pair remain united by the mutual yearning for the anarchic idealism of their punk youth that continues to burn inside them, along with the desire to meet their hero, Joe. Then, at the Acton Town Hall Fire Brigade Union benefit gig where Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros are headlining, they meet again. Nick has a backstage inviteâ¦and ex Clash guitarist Mick Jones is in the audienceâ¦â
The play was an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First winner in 2006 â and now the original cast of Steve North Nick Miles are putting on seven performances of the show to commemorate ten years since Joeâs untimely death and to celebrate his spirit and inspiration. The venue is not-for-profit and the actors are working for expenses only.
For me, personally, I donât remember the actual moment when I first met Joe Strummerâ¦but I was young and feisty and working for a promoter in Edinburgh when the Clash played at Clouds on 26th October 1977. And while my best mate spent the entire evening lusting after Paul, I could barely take my eyes of the angry, articulate and charismatic force of nature that was the lead singerâ¦and backstage, after the gig, I talked to him for as long as I could. We met several times over the next few years and always had impassioned discussionsâ¦and then, when I moved to Nottinghill in â83 (and began working for Mick/BAD), Joe and I became friends. But while I may not remember the moment we met, I remember that awful moment when I heard he had died as if it was only yesterday. And when I first saw Meeting Joe Strummer in 2006 and couldnât imagine a better tribute: I empathised, I laughed, I cried and I remembered the good times.
âA wonderful production â Joe would have loved itâ Lucinda Mellor (Joeâs wife)
Mon 17 / Tues 18 December 2012
The Latest Bar, Manchester Street, Brighton at 8.00pm. Â£5.00 on the door
Wed 19 / Thurs 20 / Friday 21 December 2012 at 7.30pm
Sat 22 December 2012 at 4.00pm and 8.00pm
The Cockpit Theatre, Gateforth Street, London NW8 8EH.
Tickets Â£12.00 in advance or on the door
For tickets and further info
Radio Six interview with the actors
Facebook group with further info