Saturday, June 28, 2014


From the Small Picture Podcasts:

"Pulp is back, in style, and James Newman is the man leading it to the public. Based in Bangkok, Spanking Pulp Press gives authors from around the world a chance to have their work read, all in exchange for a review - it's raw and alive, interaction on a visceral level... a mainline shot of junk for the jaded literary soul.

It was great talking to James about his work both as a publisher and an author. This interview ranges over James early writing, his time as a musician, how pulp fiction will never go out of style (especially during a depression), the influence of William S. Burroughs on everything, and how much a writer should read...

Newman catches up with Stuart Beaton  LISTEN

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

This city is full of Lizards......

"Humanity is actually under the control of dinosaur-like alien reptiles called the Babylon Brotherhood who must consume human blood to maintain their human appearance."
- David Icke

"HER FACE blurred into some strange abstract expressionist oil by a drunken dead hand Johnny couldn’t remember the name of. Her words slowed and then sped up like playback on reel to reel. A strange unique language. Her prehensile tongue whipped out from the corner of her mouth and licked his eyebrow. Her face was now the dull green color of pea soup. Her lips were moving but the words were underwater. Her eyes slowly blackened to those of a reptile."

AT LAST after years of being lost in a filing cabinet drawer the manuscript to LIZARD CITY has been recovered and retyped (manual type-writer) with reptiles hanging from the ceiling in a hot and hazy Bangkok room. Here it is. Newman's LIZARDS

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Never Ending Loneliness in Bangkok

The Never Ending Loneliness for Two directed by Egle Simkeviciute Kulvelis
The Hop, Silom Bangkok. 21st June 2014

Lithuanian writer Sigitas Parulskis’s The Never Ending Loneliness for two was shown last weekend at The Hop, an interesting venue that usually functions as a dance studio on Silom Road, Bangkok - a city with pockets of vice, seedy streets, and upmarket massage joints. Where foreign men brand themselves heroes while saving burned souls, patching up torn-up dreams, trampled hopes. Where high society Thai love affairs flourish, precious daughters in sharp office suits and iPhones crushing candy or chasing cookies on the Mass Transit systems while messaging loved ones online. A city where promiscuity is considered normal and even encouraged with a few minor wives and major heartbreak along the way. Love is a strange concept in Bangkok, yet desire, greed, and gratification hangs above every street like the tangled electrical wiring betwixt concrete posts. Hedonism leaps from one room to the other like cats springing from building to building landing on perilous balconies, nine lives intact, terminal dermatitis and tangled, knotted tails. A city more befitting for the darkly disturbing Never Ending Loneliness for Two there may not be.
Five different couples each have their own scene, yet one may feel, owing to the chemistry between the two actors (Pattarasuda Anuman Rajadhon and James Laver) we are watching the same couple experiencing poignant stages of their relationship, and perhaps we are. What we percive may be more powerful than what is intended. Prize-winning Lithuanian poet, essayist and playwright Sigitas Parulskis has created a piece of literature dealing with universal issues; romance, sex, death of romance, violence, threat of violence and ultimately death. Kulvelis manages to shine a light on the darkness of it all with the help of a strong cast and interesting venue, the stage backed by a huge mirror, and spiral staircase leading perhaps to despair... 
We begin with a rekindled love affair of two former school children which transfigures into a simple tryst between a client and a prostitute in a hotel room. Hmmm. Sense that moment when one lies to oneself  and to the other with the impossible hope that they we are entering somebody else, a ghost, a memory, an ideal, equal. Rajadhon performs her role with enormous energy and emotional range, Laver responds with equal verve and strength. The technique here and throughout the production is the use of both inner dialogue and direct exchanges between the couple(s). This is perhaps a difficult technique to perform well and at times effective, at others distracting. The play runs at warp speed, the audience have little time to reflect on the effectiveness of narrative structure. It is the words and the delivery that count.
A couple meet on a train and following the exchange of a few words the inner dialogue is narrated by the pair. While attracted to one another they both realize that the shyness that attracts them to each other is the very obstacle that will keep them apart.   
The first flash of potential violence evolves as our next couple tussle with a prop that may or may not be a gun, and they escape unscathed apart from the physical and verbal bruises.
“Nobody would give a gun to a nut like you.” – She tells him.
A wife and husband have reached the point where each one knows what the other is thinking. The joy and familiarity of despair is all that keeps them together, trapped by what was once desirable now a cruel glue binding them to eternal indifference. There appears to be only one means of escape ..
“I asked her although I know the answer, communication becomes impossible, all the answers have been learned by now, and questions – questions are meant for oneself so as to push the answers further away.”

“A knife-edge is the straightest and surest way to intimacy,”
A fine line and one of many in this well-written, at times perhaps, over-written treatment. The language is thoughtful, careful, and rich. We discover the killing of his wife was but a wishful dream.   
The final scene. Tombstone Mirrors. Set in a cemetery where a man meets his first love, a woman married to another man:
“You wanted to be like the dead, especially dead for me, and I, had already been a ghost for a quite a while by then, hearing nothing, saying nothing, a shade wandering in the graveyard.”
This strongest scene extends the ambiguous themes explored throughout this dark literary stage production. We are left to wonder if the two characters have finally left the earth to reunite in heaven? Were all the couples connected in some unearthly way? The same couple? 

The audience likes to participate with a novel, a film or a play. One way the writer and director can do this is to leave us asking questions.
One answer to these questions is  that we are just like the Bangkok cat jumping from balcony to balcony and glimpsing through grime-stained windows and quietly watching the bizarre human relationships that percolate within the private loneliness couples compulsively cultivate around the world. Every minute. Each day.  
The Never Ending Loneliness for Two continues this weekend at Toot Yung Art Center, Bangkok. For more information and tickets visit their facebook page  HERE

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


FOR THOSE few who didn't follow THE WHITE FLAMINGO there's a character named Taylor who lost his wife and child in a house-boating accident in Tonbridge, UK. Well, the child, JIMMY, lived. And like Moses in the bull rushes is picked out of the river by drunken gypsy NOAH who takes him to live on the infamous GREEN STREET GREEN gypsy site.

Eventually JIMMY is put into care until he escapes to a life of crime, violence and drugs.

MEANWHILE JOE DYLAN is drinking snake wine and shooting China White in FUN CITY. Joe is asked to go and find JIMMY and bring him back to his father TAYLOR in FUN CITY.

But, of course, there are a few obstacles to overcome.

Sexually driven ROSE and her father, king of the gypsies, LORD BYRON and his henchmen EDWARD ED' CASE are after JIMMY for a drug deal that went wrong. Throw in football hooligan and rapist BOUNTY and you got yourself a right motley crew.   

Can JOE DYLAN bring the kid back to FUN CITY in one piece with the LONDON criminal underground hot on his tail?


Thursday, June 5, 2014

BENT in Bangkok

BENT, the Martin Sherman play, had its first showing in Bangkok last weekend. This award winning play originally opened on the West End Stage back in 1979 and made it to Broadway in 1980 with Richard Gere taking the lead role. 1997 saw the feature film version pick up an award at the Cannes Film festival with performances by none other than Jude Law and Mick Jagger. 

In 2014, in Bangkok, a city fittingly it might seem, under military rule, this meditation of The Night of the Long Knives took place on the stage. Peel The Limelight and the Petralai Management Theatre of Chualalongkorn a new dynamic production outfit working out of the Chula business university campus and serving, wait for it, lime juice during the interval, had a lot to contend with. Cancelations of the earlier shows due to the military curfew, disruptions with public transport systems, a new curfew, mobs demonstrating, photographers and bloggers capturing or hoping to capture a slice of the action. Who had time for a play about the military take-over of a country when it was happening on the streets for real? 

I had trouble finding the venue (Shiraz, Guinness)before being shown to a high floor in the business faculty by a kindly lecturer. The show was about to start. No time for lime juice, straight into the action. The audience were both Thai and international and I gathered mostly students or somehow attached to the university.       

Prior knowledge of the persecution of one hundred thousand homosexuals during the Nazi Germany ethnic cleansing campaign was not required for a full understanding of the play, nor is appreciation of the artistic movement between the wars and the decadence that flourished in the city of Berlin. Flourished that is before the Nazis moved in. But a brief background certainly would not hurt to understand the atmosphere and conditions under which this story is framed.

Max, played by British born actor Chris Wegoda is having trouble with his wealthy family due to his involvement with boyfriend Rudy, played by I-Nam Jiemvitayanukoon. A realtionship discovered by the Nazis as Max engages in an affair with Wolfgang Granz, played by James Laver, who is a man wanted by Hitlar's Gestapo.  The pair flee the city with the help from uncle Freddy performed by musician and thespian Kevin Wood. However, Max and Rudy are caught and arrested by the Gestapo and bound on a train heading to the Dachau concentration camp. 

The action intensifies as Rudy is beaten to death on the train and, Max, rather than suffer the same treatment tells the Gestapo that he is a Jew thus not being made to wear the pink triangle that brands the gay prisoners. In one of Wegoda’s / Max’s most powerful scenes he confesses to intercourse with a deceased teenage girl, under the watchful eyes of the Gestapo to prove that he is not a homosexual. This is a poweful moment in the play.

On the train the lone survivor meets Horst played by Jaime Zuniga who quickly becomes Max’s friend and later, while assigned to work together in the concentration camp, his lover.

The play ends tragically after Horst is shot and Max ends his life by jumping into the electrical fence that stands between them and their freedom to not only live, but live a lifestyle that was once tolerated if not encouraged by the status quo of that decadent age.                

Peel the Limelight is a tidy venue, well designed and set-up with fantastic use of lighting and a professional prop rotation team who enhanced this edgy, somewhat disturbing show. 

Chris Wegoda bravely took the main role and was struck by flashes of brilliance. Wegoda has impressed the Bangkok stage thus far with a fine performance in The Rocky Horror Picture and the Moulin Rouge at the Checkinn99. He continues to improve his craft. Jaime Zuniga, who has put on productions in Vietnam also carried his difficult role very well. My only criticism would be the repetitive nature of the carrying of rocks from one side of the stage to the other. Yet under the conditions of a concentration camp one can only imagine the drudgery of day to day life. The real chemistry sparked as the two actors put down the rocks and faced the audience addressing each other and their growing emotions towards each other without even a glance at one another for fear of the watchful eye of the Gestapo. 

I-Nam played his role well and shows great promise as a performer. Duncan foster’s Greta, a relic of the Berlin decadent scene was expertly portrayed and Kevin Wood’s role as Uncle Freddy was simply sublime. SS Captain Robert Badoux wore the uniform well. The sound was sinister and decadent and enhanced the production.  

But hats off, or Nazi caps off to director Peter O’Neil for making it all happen on a night where art on the stage was as surreal as the events outside on the streets. 


Wednesday, June 4, 2014


IN THE real world of writing fiction and publishing a novel normally takes about five years from completed draft to publication. This is what happened with my latest novel released ITCHY PARK released last week.

Set in London, 1988 - but dating back to 1888. A strange story, use of first person stream of conciousness type writing and a black magic jackell and Hyde type plot. I love it. I hope you do too. It made a spash in the Penny Dreadfulls back in the day.

The year is 1988, but for Frank it's the wrong age to live in. His penchant for exuberant Victorian fashions and antiquated literature marks him out as a laughing stock amongst his fellow workers in the London city branch of Marks and Spencer's, Gracechurch Street.

When Frank finds an old hardback book left in a Gladstone bag outside his flat he has in his hands the very thing that will change his life forever. The manuscript penned by Doctor Stephenson one hundred years ago is a handbook on the occult. The book details the black magic rituals that the doctor performed before transforming himself into the beast that the world would know as Jack the Ripper. 

Bullying in the work place. An infatuation with Victorian London. An itch to lose his virginity leads to a visit to London's Itchy Park, an old east end churchyard. The spell transforms Frank Palmer into the devilishly handsome predator of women Francis Frisk. A handsome scoundrel with an insatiable taste for fine wines, gothic literature, and the blood of fallen women. He must reenact the five Whitechapel murders in 1980s London in order to break an ancient spell. 

Detective Seymour Silk of the VIB (Vampire Investigation Bureau) is one step ahead of the metropolitan police in catching up with the killer at large. Can Frank reverse the spell before his life is condemned to finish at the end of a stake?

Thanks to Double Dragon Press and Deron in Canada, and his great work on the cover: