Friday, 7 October 2011

A Radical Pedestrian - the Blake Walk (Zoot Lynam)

Today we went on a walk. 

The first thing I wanted to do before starting on this project about Blake was contact my friend, Niall McDevitt. He's an expert on Blake, and I've always wanted to find out some of what Niall knows. This was a perfect excuse to ask him for a lesson! 

He offered to take me on a walk of Blake's London, but we didn't manage to coincide our schedules until after starting rehearsals, so he extended the offer to the whole company. And today we all went.

We met on South Molton Street, outside the only property that Blake has lived in which still stands.
As we approach, Niall leans casually on the window ledge leafing through an old and dusty copy of Blake's writings - like he was placed by the director of the film of this moment. I know this is going to be good!

I love London. Every knook and corner harbours strange and wonderful stories. Today's walk opened my eyes to a few more of them. Like the building where composer Handel once lived, right next door to where guitar legend Jimi Hendrix once lived. Niall enacted a possible dispute between the two “Keep it down, with your wretched noise!”
(He believes Blake would have preferred Hendrix!)

Scurrying about Soho and central London, I feel I'm getting slightly closer to Blake. I can see Niall is there with him already. As we struggle to keep up, with half of our number around the corner and over the road, without apologising he says “I am a radical pedestrian”. 
I can imagine Blake saying that. 

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