Have you ever loved a poxy, gaping wound that never heals?

Have you ever loved a poy, gaping wound that never heals? Welcome to the pure disease of radical thinking, the open-heart artistry of David Hoyle. A precision provocateur, he’s a beautiful leper puking on the bland smirk of consensus dissent. Never afraid to offend, he’ll stare, point-blank, at dead-eyed conformity, and test-drive blanket idiocy to total destruction.

So, tonight –in character as a no-limits, libertarian headmistress for tonight’s show, ‘The Prime of Ms David Hoyle’ – he’s in his element. And, as always – perhaps acknowledging some fractured, kindred mind-set – his intentionally smeared make-up is a cosmetic-Cubist’s spin on Liza Minelli. It’s pithy, visual ventriloquism, an instant, persona transplant of Liza’s unshakeable self-belief, an immediate, autocratic departure point for Ms. Hoyle.

And it’s wholly appropriate. Tonight, David’s manifesting – and inverting – that patronising sense of belonging British schools cram into pitifully vulnerable minds. Quite brilliantly, he’s subverting the crypto-fascist overtones of Muriel Spark’s Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie novel into a school-night for unedited, sexualised scandal. How? With extreme satire, the preferred poison for killer, social comedy since theatre began. Essentially, it’s the freedom to question any standards of etiquette, taste and so-called decency, and push them to blatant heights of self-evident absurdity.
Therefore – as headmistress in tonight’s mock, end of school-term assembly – David unflinchingly proclaims his inflammatory manifesto. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, and those clever enough to have transcended gender’ he begins, ‘We are now free from the ridiculous expectations of our genitals. It will be trans people, and trans consciousness that will liberate the whole of humanity’.Wow. Simultaneously utopian, hilarious and upstaging blinkered identity politics, it’s a typically stellar David Hoyle starting-gun, but not one winning full approval. One heckler –ex-forces, befuddled, confrontational – obviously feels his servile, binary-sexed values are being mocked, a surly, potential flash-point. But immediately, he’s beautifully love-bombed by David, and instantly evolves from feisty reactionary to besotted disciple.

How could he not? David’s seductive power of surreal persuasion totally rewrites any opposed punter’s world-view with a stunningly queer lexicon. Fittingly, David queers our global pitch from its first, bedrock principle – education – and, as always, asks gloriously awkward questions.

‘Does education make us conform’ David ominously inquires, ‘by hacking off our beautiful eccentricities?’ Oh yes; British state and public schools give a kiss of Guantanomo Bay brutality for arty queens enduring term-time torment. But not tonight, as, quite gorgeously, our devil’s advocate headmistress unleashes three recent graduates of his maverick regime.
First, there’s Bambi Sexsmith, self-styled, queer conversion therapist, with her projectile-diction sermon on avoiding ‘Straight Complex’. In an assured blizzard of quips, she diagnoses, treats and cures any obstacles to thoroughly liberated, thoroughly queer existence. And, remarkably, that’s just for starters; each fabulously unpredictable prodigy from the Hoyle class of honour ramps the anti-hetero stakes stunningly higher.

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Take Ray, a flawless, drag-king Fred Astaire clone. Tap-dancing like a frenzied needle probing an addict’s veins, she strips to a startling androgyny, all duct-taped, flattened breasts and stencilled six-pack. A take-no-prisoners attack on the mediocre, mundane and pointlessly mean, David’s graduates conclude with the starkest, cautionary warning yet; enter, ‘Cis White Male’.

Naked, mute and nervous, his name scrawled on his belly, ‘Cis’ is a shocking indictment of state education crushing social and sexual dissent. Is there an antidote? For sure -Ms Hoyle’s fearless call to self-expression at any cost. It’s a fantastically liberating lesson that, ideally, should be taught and memorised from birth, the ferociously humane heart of David’s stunning rejection of global despair. Live free, live fierce, live now; there’s no finer riposte to mindless fascism.

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David’s next show is December 9th at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.

About the author: Sasha Selavie
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