It’s Sunday, Church time… Charlotte that is. Her debut film Under Milk Wood was having it’s London premiere at the bohemian Rio Cinema in Hackney. The Kevin Allen helmed adaption of Dylan Thomas’s 1954 radio play and presumably a ‘remodelling’ of the 1972 Burton-Taylor film marked the Welsh singer’s first foray into film acting and she was scheduled to appear along with the lead, fellow Welsh person Rhys Ifans. It’s a peculiar story (a bit like this one) about a day in the life of a small, Welsh fishing village called Llareggub (read it backwards).
I drew this sketch of Charlotte, so had a pretty good idea of what she looks like. Loitering with intent outside the theatre, which had no barriers or carpet, security or even people of like-mind. I waited for her to arrive. What I didn’t know was that on Friday she had dyed her hair purple and appeared on a UK TV show saying it was her ‘mermaid’ look for a couple of days until it washed out. I was not looking for purple locks and it was only when I checked with one of the leaving paps who showed me his pics that I realised I had missed her.
The film started, so I thought I would ask a friendly person who looked like someone who would know if Charlotte was staying for the entire film. He didn’t know. “Are you a friend?” he asked. “Not yet,” I quipped. “Where are you from?” he continued. Now there are various ways of answering that. I simply gave him my country of origin, then said I would come back when the movie ended, to which he indicated that they would have no time as he had to rush her away. He did inquire about my purpose. A fair and reasonable question.
Now this is a genetic flaw in my make up – my denial that I am an ‘autograph collector’. It’s difficult admitting that, so the question went unanswered. Clearly I was not making a good impression. I then stationed myself outside the cinema. He and some of the others, who obviously had something to do with the evening’s event left for a local restaurant. The film finished and everyone exited, including Charlotte and her purple hair. No sign of my interrogator. Bonus… so I moved my way through the leaving patrons and asked Charlotte if she wouldn’t mind signing my sketch. She was really nice and liked the drawing. While she was signing it, I asked her about the film. She simply said “It’s cooooool”, like her really.