Burning the Books came to the legendary Duckie performance night at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on Saturday November 9th for a one -nighter, alongside Candoco dance company and hot on the heels of Bonfire Night. We had a very warm reception, introduced by the coincidentally red-and-black-attired SonOfATutu, with a fast influx of entries into the Book of Debts after an initial on-stage provocation. We then recited all of the 45 moving and powerful stories, which burnt  beautifully out in the back yard despite the drizzle, followed by a disco wake! Scroll down for a listing of what was added that night to The Book.

Due to the intimate nature of the venue  and as an experiment in crowd-sourced documentation, we decided not to film the performances, and so the documentation  of The Book of Debts, Vol IV : Duckie, London is archived in written form, here below. Be prepared to be moved.

  1. A debt of life and love: owed – all the lives and love lost as a result of homophobic prejudice; bombings, imprisonment, murder and segregation, and that still continue on this planet right now. Examples – Russia, Uganda, Saudi Arabia to mention but a few..
  2. A pair of gold shoes- which once belonged to my late mother – the only ones that also suited me that I could wear out. recently I found them in my bedroom cupboard, nibbled to pieces by a hamster called Ron Weasley, who we had been looking after and who went missing. Lost, lost – all those nights out dancing in her shoes  – and remembering her glamour and love.
  3. I owe my partner more love, patience and acceptance. My expectations are often too high and so impossible to fulfill. And so I fail him on my curriculum of love and judgement  and a regular basis. And then I feel our disconnection, the pain – and we have to start all over again. One day this may not be an option.I want to symbolically burn  all my impulsive judgements and impossible expectations of him – this beautiful, committed man, who is – like me – only human.
  4.  Respect owed for the lives and loves of young gay people globally. To those too afraid to be out, as yet, abused – whose mental health has been affected through lack of support, understanding and acceptance.
  5. Reparations for soul murder – to the victims of child sex abuse, who have had their souls destroyed. All the unseen, unheard – whose distress has never been met, and whose have only been labelled by the mental health system as a disorder and disruption to the norm.
  6. Forgiveness of my self – for being so hard on myself for so many years, for self-neglect. Putting others – everyone – before me, and looking after so well, whilst not listening, feeling, caring or supporting myself. I truly apologise to my precious self, I endeavour to honour, love and support deeply, and I know this will affect every other relationship in my life. Apologies for this delusion, for the suffering I have created for those closest to me.
  7. £100,000 in consumer, mortgage, student and other debt.
  8. I want to symbolically contribute the UK National Deficit : £1,377 billion ! Comment: but leave a penny for good luck.Julian.
  9. In 1999, the other DJ – the black-haired one, at this club – bought me a film poster – The Switchblade Sisters. It was brilliant! He showed me it on my birthday and said ; ‘I’ll get it framed for you!” I’m still waiting for it.14 years later ! He owes me my present.
  10. The Soho homophobic bombings – their lives.
  11. A huge apology owed to me by my uncle for stealing my soul.
  12. T-shirt owed to my sister that I borrowed 10 years ago and never gave back.
  13.  I owe an emotional debt to the lovers who lost, and were kind – when they could have been nasty.
  14. I lost my glove in 5 minutes. Please burn the book.(?)
  15. Love and tenderness owed to my grandmother – someone who cared deeply and kept me from harm for many years.
  16. We owe a debt to each other as human beings to respect, love and care for one another – regardless of social, cultural or geographical boundaries.
  17. Our debt is for the birthday card we never brought for Jolly-Wally-Olly. So we take this opportunity to say we love him. Nia and Peter.
  18. To the BBC, for all the years of TV  licensing I have avoided paying.
  19. I am in debt to my mother, for putting up with way too much shit from me over the years.
  20. Debt owed to all disabled people for the lack of understanding, acceptance and for amount of places that are so inaccessible, eg. tube stations, nightclubs, venues etc.
  21. To the few flatmates who lived with me, and then had mental health problems – that I didn’t care about.
  22. I owe my boyfriend more time together.
  23. The debt of £150 owed to a hospital in Zanzibar, where I was looked after when I had malaria.
  24. I owe myself a debt of care, for not living authentically, for living in fear. It’s never too late to start afresh.
  25. I owe myself freedom to be myself, unapologetically, and the freedom to savour that – and all the fruits it bears ..
  26. My debt is to all of you – those who gave me unconditional love – and to whom I did not give back as I should . To Itsig (sic), who gives me all he has got, from whom I keep back and don’t give all I’ve got. To Tal – who loves me so, no questions asked – and I fail to love him back in the same way. All my friends and loved ones, who find it so easy to open up – and I keep myself from truly loving as one should; you have proven your love over and over again, and you deserve it as well. My debt is all the love I have yet to give you, and you all pray for and rightfully deserve.
  27. A debt owed to me by my mother and father for a childhood of non-recognition, neglect and abuse.
  28. A debt owed to my mother and father of recognition – that they are flawed human beings like all of us – with stories of their own.
  29. I know I haven’t treated you well these last three years, but things are getting better. 2014 is the year we are definitely going to make the changes to make you happy, yeah.
  30. In german – indecipherable (apologies to the contributor – it was read out as best I could at the event)
  31. To my family, for choosing to live abroad, and for being so far and not always there, I love you.
  32. I owe my family £500, for travelling in America. I have every intention of paying it back, You can’t imagine how much it meant to me – all I was able to see and experience, I learned so much more about the world and myself. I will pay them back  – I love them!
  33. 42p for a marathon bar I stole 44 years ago..
  34. Talla owes me £20 for his lunch today.
  35. Almost 32 years ago, an 18 year old woman left me in an orphanage. I am now living happily in London, and I owe her this information. She did the right choice and she has to know it -wherever she is – Rumania or anywhere else.
  36. I owe Marcie many things – mostly socks and pants – but mostly I owe her my time. Note to self: must stop working so hard and dance in my pants – or Marcie’s – to old Christina Aguielera  songs. And laugh at you when watching Black Beauty makes you super-emotional.
  37. I owe Fiona my life because it’s so much infinitely better with her in it. Thanks darling.
  38. I owe to those who are giving me shelter and warmth and love at this moment – when my world has fallen apart; a home, a roof, food. To know these people are there, who have given me unconditional regard, is the biggest gift – thank you.
  39. I owed my friend Adriana an apology – and I would do it if she let me – but hey…
  40. A thank you to Paul, I’m sorry, it was a nervous breakdown.Only medication worked..
  41. £2,000 owed to my parents..
  42. 18 rolls of toliet paper, 3 years of dinner – sorry Bruce I cannot cook..
  43. £5 owed to Simon Casson for the secret code.
  44. Gratitude to Adrienne for being an example of a true human being. Ultimately, all there is, is love. The rest is just story.
  45. When I was kid, I killed a frog for fun , to impress my friends. I still feel huge shame over this.



One thought on “Duckie,London

  1. Pingback: Birmingham,Chapter 2 :The Art of Uncertainty | Burning The Books

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