From the front cover to the last page The Drive has all the dials turned to madcap as Tyler Keevil follows in the dust trails of the great American road trip. This kinetic journey through the backside of America lives firmly in the shadow of Fear and Loathing
The action starts in medias res with Trevor, our protagonist, fearfully swallowing his stash as he is questioned at the American border. Successfully gaining entry to the hallowed land, he is propelled through a series of bizarre, comic encounters as he desperately attempts to outrun his feelings for ex- girlfriend, Zuzska.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for the London theatre scene in August, clamouring for press coverage as the creative centre of gravity moves north of the border. One wouldn’t begrudge Edinburgh this attention: in no other arts festival in the world is a city so effectively commandeered to the service of culture. However, for those who are London-bound – or bound to London – there is a smaller-scale alternative in the form of the Camden Fringe, which comes to a close on August 25th after a tight programme of events throughout the month. The programme, which is in its eighth year, takes place across sixteen venues around Camden and Covent Garden. With a similar ethos to the early Edinburgh Fringe, the shows are nearly all performed by unknown actors tackling untried material. This gives plenty of room to explore ideas and concepts in new ways but – as with any fringe festival – the results are uneven in places.
While Grimeborn may take its name from the more established opera festival at Glyndebourne, it is unlikely that it shares many of its visitors. With none of the pomp of is south coast namesake, this short programme of events in East London’s Arcola Theatre has taken a more experimental, tongue-in-cheek approach, bringing opera to the streets.
The Arcola may have recently completed a renovation but the space remains obstinately bare and simple. The main stage is not much of a stage at all – more a small floor space surrounded on three sides by raised seating, supported by scaffolding poles. A Dalstonesque theatron, the exposed brick and scaffold creates a space designed for chamber productions and up-close theatre as opposed to symphonic compositions viewed from the gods.
Go in bold they said, throw in some sex, that will catch their attention. Great advice that was! It’s that sort of thinking that led to all this shit, that led to all this relentless hustling….
Trade is set in a near contemporary world where apps control our love life and the sexual partners we choose.
The narrator, a nihilistic employee at a Berlin-based social network, chronicles the early days of the new sexual economy and the terrible price he has to pay as his girlfriend, Lis, is propelled to stardom.
What would you do in a world where your sexual partners were chosen for you?
Trade is out now – click the link below to get a copy.
I am delighted to say that Calliope, the official publication of the Writers’ Special Interest Group (SIG) of American Mensa, will be publishing a piece of my short fiction entitled The Crow in their upcoming Winter 2012/13 issue.