★★★★ | No Drum To Beat
Mansel Stimpson, co-author of the Film Review yearbook, has written a memoir, a memoir where he states that ‘he was born in 1978 at the age of 40.’
The Film Review yearbook is the world’s longest-established movie guide and is the only guide that provides essential credits and reviews for all theatrically released films in the UK. Stimpson began co-authoring the book in 2007, but his own memoir, titled ‘No Drum to Beat’, was actually written thirty years ago. It’s not about Mansel’s life as a writer, nor is it about film, it’s about him recognising his sexuality for the first time, at the age of 40, and then embracing it, and immediately seeing it as an opening to the possibility of loving.
Mansel says that ‘when I recognised that I was gay I immediately saw it not as a problem but as a solution to a problem.’
‘No Drum to Beat’ tells an extraordinary and unique story of one man’s realisation that he was gay a bit late in life, but it’s also a record of gay life in London from 1978 to 1981, a time when London was going through a significant period of social change.
Mansel mentions that his book ‘was written for men who thought being gay was a problem, and it’s also written for women and straight men in the hope of promoting greater understanding.’
Mansel Stimpson has previously written for the British Federation of Film Societies, What’s On in London, Capital Gay, Gay Times, and the Pink Paper. Throughout his career he has interviewed countless singers, actors, conductors, and directors.