Hello there! It's the man who fell to earth
Monday 20 December 1999
Under the influence of his mentor Lindsey Kemp, mime played an important part at the Beckenham Arts Lab. As a local resident for almost as long as Bowie has been away, I must admit that mime does not seem to have caught on round here. Punters in Ladbroke's do not go into elaborate displays of silent, poignant despair when the first choice in their running accumulator fails to do the biz at Kempton Park. Nor do patrons in Sketchley's go through an elaborate charade of spilling imaginary drinks, pointing out imaginary stains, taking off imaginary garments, etc.
In fact, the most vigorous and sustained use of gesture is performed by drivers negotiating the bottleneck outside David's old haunt, but it is a moot point if their flamboyant digital manipulations are intended as an homage to the local star.
If he's thinking of renewing his struggle to transform Beckenham into the Montmartre of south London, perhaps Mr Bowie should be made aware that the Three Tuns, like so many nice, dingy old pubs in Britain, has undergone a terrible metamorphosis in his absence. Now done out in polished pine and cheap-looking brass, it has been renamed, with stunning originality, the Rat and Parrot. Following this transformation, the boite has gained a reputation in the locality for the lively behaviour of its clientele. If David were tempted to re-establish his Arts Lab, he would certainly be assured of appearing on television, since the local authorities have erected an impressively vast closed-circuit TV camera which keeps a constant glassy eye open for disturbances outside the hostelry.
Of course, Bowie may be heading for Bermondsey, Battersea or Balham, all of which seem eminently well-suited to his predominant requirement in a place of residence. Inexplicably, it has been suggested that the 52-year-old popster will probably choose to live in Chelsea or Kensington. "As long as it's within easy reach of the art galleries, he'll be happy," said a pal of his. "He's not going after anything too lavish." David's idea of lavish, however, is a bit different to yours or mine. During a Caribbean break a few years ago, I happened to see a Bowie residence in the Mustique area before he upped sticks for Bermuda. It rambled over virtually the whole length of an island.
I'd have thought he would be hard pushed to get anything as spacious in SW3 or SW5. In south London, this would not present a problem. Mr B could buy up the whole of Penge, where I know for a fact that he still has some cronies. As for art, he would be better off in the depths of south London than in the nobby faubourgs of the West End. Forget Cork Street, David, we've got Goldsmiths College only a mile or two away. It was at this celebrated birthplace of Britart that Damien Hirst first came up with his idea for The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, otherwise known as a great big shark. No wonder David Bowie has decided to come back to London. You don't get that sort of thing in Bermuda.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
As Better Call Saul launches, here are the other spin-off shows we need to see
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election