How to Win against History


Remember me? Guy about my height, used to turn up every now and then babbling about long-dead oddballs?

The real world – a place whose dismal reputation has diminished further this year – has been monopolising my attention. Forgive. But I return briefly with news of a chamber spectacular I feel you really should know about.

Regular readers will know of my love for Henry Cyril Paget, 5th Marquess of Anglesey, a man whose own relations with the real world were barely even tangential, a man who dazzled and bemused audiences around the beginning of the 20th century with a cabaret turn that featured little more than his own inestimable, immobile, jewel-encrusted self, a man who – if I may quote myself – “took the British tradition of aristocratic eccentricity down a back alley and gave it the zhooshing of a lifetime”.

I still await the book that will capture the profligate peer and the daft, camp wonderment of his one-man stage shows in all their ravishing plumage. But for now we have How to Win against History, a three-man musical exploration of the marquess and the costly fantasia that was his life, written, composed by and starring Seiriol Davies, which can be seen at the Assembly George Square in Edinburgh for much of the rest of the month – and it’s been getting some great reviews (in The Stage and Time Out, for instance).

Sadly I won’t make it to Edinburgh (although a book I’ve been translating over the summer will be heading for the festival, which partly explains the lack of posts). If you manage to catch the show, please report back!

Further reading
Dress-down Friday: Henry Cyril Paget
Not as other men
Marquess Casati
Peer to peer


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