Tuesday, October 19

Armistead Maupin

- October 13, 2021

The live celebrity interview is an odd thing, and often so odd that it doesn’t actually work. But get it right and it makes for a perfect evening of insight and entertainment. Of course Maupin’s celebrity comes atop a canon of great fiction,  the joy of the Tales Of The City series, the disturbing and broodingly sinister The Night Listener and the weirdly comedic Maybe The Moon are all internationally acclaimed and loved and the Dome Concert Hall was full of that respect and love.

Graham Norton is a seasoned interviewer who always seems to have done thorough research and he proved this to be true, he knew the books and the story of Maupin’s life and fed him the right questions that prompted hilarious responses throughout. Maupin was cheekily frank and saucy, never shying away from the most revealing anecdotes cataloguing his literary and sexual adventures and those celebrities involved. The first half was a joy.

After the short interval they returned and invited questions from the audience. Does it work? Not really. I think I counted three, maybe four questions that Norton quite rightly declared as good, the rest tended to be fawning declarations of fandom and as such were pretty uninteresting.

Personally I would have far preferred to have Maupin read a selection of his favourite passages from his “ouvre”’ a term that he delivers with cheeky relish and one that Norton picks up on with equally wicked sauce. In fact I would have enjoyed having Norton read from the books more than listening to members of the audience declaring their undying love.

All this said I too am a fan so the opportunity to hear him talk was unmissable.

Andrew Kay

Brighton Dome Concert Hall

12 October

[rating; 4/5]

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