He’s a pretty amazing bloke… definitely one of those people I’d have in my “dream team”. I don’t think I realised just how good he was before going to see his brilliant exhibition at The British Museum in 2011 (“Grayson Perry: Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman”?). Since then, I’ve been captivated by his art, his various excellent television series for Channel 4 television (“All Man”, “Who Are You?” and “In the Best Possible Taste”) and his stunningly good Reith Lectures in 2013 (which you still listen to via BBC iPlayer).
Grayson Perry has the happy knack of being able to communicate with anyone. I suppose you could even describe his manner as “matey” (which, on the face of it, seems a somewhat strange description for a cross-dressing potter!). He’s a natural communicator (and performer). He’s articulate, perceptive, funny, instinctive and intelligent. He’s able to challenge people without appearing to judge them. He’s utterly compelling. Last night, he mainly focussed on the subject of “masculinity”. The Colston Hall blurb described him as a “lecturer and bestselling author with traditional masculine traits like a desire to always be right and to overtake all other cyclists when going up big hills”.The theatre was full. He’s clearly a very popular, well-loved bloke!
He talked on stage for an hour against a backdrop of visual images to illustrate his words (strutting his stuff in a couple of flamboyant and colourful dresses and outrageous shoes!). For the second half of the show, he’d encouraged the audience to tweet on the subject of masculinity (during the interval) and spent some time talking about these… before a Q+A sequence, followed by a final summing up of what he believes masculinity should (and shouldn’t) be about.
Somewhat bizarrely, during the course of the evening, I found myself at times wishing that Grayson Perry was our Prime Minster. Maybe I could envisage Perry, with his high-heeled, sparkly blue wedges, waging war (rather more effectively than the current Opposition) with a well-shod Theresa May across the Dispatch Box?!
It was a rather wonderful, uplifting, entertaining evening.
At a time when everything in the world at present seems bleak and depressing, Grayson Perry brought a little bit of hope and inspiration!
He’s become a national treasure. How did THAT happen!?
Photo: Grayson Perry on stage last night (we were in row D!)…