The Eden project: A film-maker's 'Looking for Adam' quest gathers momentum

Alex Lyngaas is still searching for a partner for his 69-year-old mother

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The Independent Online

A few weeks ago, this column reported on the Norwegian film-maker Alex Lyngaas’s search to find a suitable partner for his 69-year-old mother, Eva. You might remember that Lyngaas posted a video to YouTube called “Looking For Adam”, and then sat back as the film racked up 7,000,000 views in its first week.

As the clickbait headline might say, “What happened next will surprise you!” Because since then ... nothing. No updates, no news on the results of Alex and Eva’s search, just an echoing silence for those of us who do not have sufficient excitement in our own lives.

So, it gives me great pleasure to report that Lyngaas has been in touch to tell me that his YouTube update will be online within the next week. Among the many funny stories from his search, is that of the man from New York who got in touch with an email titled “Would you like a black son?”, while a 24-year-old Canadian wrote “a beautiful letter about how he believes that he and Eva are soul mates from a previous life”. Serious offers, Lyngaas says, have come from as far afield as New Zealand, Japan, Chile and South Africa, and because of the global reach of his video, he says that it might take some time before he can finally declare that a partner has been found: “I’m guessing there will be a third update at some point,” he says.

And then a Hollywood movie? We can only hope.

Hair of the dog

There is, as you might expect, no shortage of brilliantly barking things battling for your attention at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. And while, sadly, I cannot tell you the merits of the one-woman  Richard III, the “digital opera” about Edward Snowden, the pole-dancing version of The Vagina Monologues, or the clairvoyant show in a caravan with the excellent title Small Medium at Large, I would like, if I might, to point you in the direction of an extraordinary project by a performer called Brigitte Aphrodite titled My Beautiful Black Dog.

Aphrodite (her real name, incidentally), has in her time been a dancer, a musical comedian and a “serious” pop performer, but now she has found a way to combine all her talents in a musical about her often debilitating battle with depression.

“I was living two lives,” she tells me. “There was the sparkly, wild, fun and flamboyant side, and then, behind closed doors, I was struggling badly. At one point I couldn’t move from bed for three weeks. To turn something negative into something positive, I decided to make a piece out of my condition. I want people to be able to mention depression at dinner parties without killing the vibe.”

But what happens if the black dog returns during the run? “We have a contingency plan for that,” she laughs. “And anyway, that’s one of the reasons why we are only doing 10 days rather than the more usual whole-month run.”

My parents went to London…

Last November, a pop-up shop opened on London’s Carnaby Street. Unlike the million other “temporary spaces” that spring up over the capital, this one is not going to be popping off anywhere any time soon.

We Built This City (right) is, essentially, a tat-free tourist shop. “We thought it was high time that souvenirs reflected the true creativity of this city,” says its founder, Alice Mayor. To celebrate WBTC’s success, Out There asked Mayor for her top-three alternative souvenirs and the three items that no one should leave London with.

Three best: London Brick Vase by Stolen Form; Beautiful Estate “Hackney” tea-towel by Oscar Francis; Corgi brooch by Finest Imaginary. Three worst: a nodding British Union Jack bulldog; a Beatles shot glass; an I ♥ London ashtray.

Finally, Mayor advises against “anything with the slogan ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.” 

Bad hair day

Heidi Stevens is a fairly serious writer for the Chicago Tribune. Last week, she wrote about a handwritten letter she received after she changed her byline picture earlier this year. “Since you don’t seem to care about your appearance enough to get an easy care hairdo,” the letter read, “I will solve my being troubled by your photo. I’ll simply remove it each week – here’s #1.”  Since then, each week, the same reader has clipped out and sent in Stevens’s picture (left) with an accompanying note,  the most recent of which read: “Please get a new picture for your column.”

Naturally, Stevens has steadfastly refused, pointing out that her hairstyle in no way affects her ability to write. As someone with an “easy care hairdo” (i.e. bald), I can only concur.

No rhyme or reason

Another in a regular series of limericks based on recent events:

To the easyJet-set in the air,

Even those who have money to spare,

Know that nothing can save ya,

From model behaviour,

It’s a case of the flyer beware.

Twitter: @simmyrichman

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