Friday 1 January 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful in 2016

I put on my gypsy bangles, cackle mysteriously and delve into what cultural delights the year ahead will bring. Here goes:

Peerless experimental theatre practitioners Imitating the Dog's production of The Train will be calling at all stations (or some) in January. Also this month: D. J. Taylor's The Prose Factory - the best history of 20th century British Literature I've ever read.

Jumpin' Jack Flash, Keiron Pim's biography of David Litvinof  (which I'll review for the TLS) is published in February. A good book about a bad man.

Also in February, and throughout the year - screenings and other commemorations will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Buster Keaton (and look out for Peter Krämer 's BFI monograph on The General, published in June).

Also also in February 60103 Flying Scotsman will steam again. And about time too. This magnificent locomotive (annoyingly dubbed 'the people's engine' by National Railway Museum's marketing department) will return to the rails after a very long and very expensive overhaul.  This was the first machine in the world to travel at more than 100 miles an hour. It will now be thrashing north from King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley as its builders intended.

My book About a Girl will be published by CB editions in March.

Also in March: Anatomy of a Soldier by Harry Parker will be the literary debut of the year.  I blogged about this astonishing novel recently here.

There's pot and pots of pots at Ceramic Arts 2016  (April 8th - 10th). I know a lot about pottery but I don't know what I like and this show may give me a few clues.

Opening Skinner's Box. Look out for this, one of the theatrical highlights of 2016. Google for clues.

After that nothing much until  . . .

The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride's second novel, will be published in Britain by Faber in September (and everywhere else after that).

My new year gift for you: the Buzzcocks at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester performing Ever Fallen in Love with Soemenone (You Shouldn;t Have Fallen in Love With) in 1978. The thin bloke in the red jacket at the front? That's me, almost four decades ago. Watch and marvel.

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