I’m writing this, having found myself struggling and surprised with how moved I was in the desperately sad passing of Adrian Howells last weekend. I’m not saying anything here that hasn’t been echoed by many other people, and I didn’t know him so well. But that we’re all moved to share our memories of this gorge-arse man reflects his luminosity, so beautifully vivid, fiercely tender.
I first properly met Adrian when I was his companion along his 14 Stations at BAC in 2008. It was an extraordinary way to meet anyone. (I just found this review). I remember crying in the face of him crying, then being soothed, and the huge expanse of comfort later being spooned by him in a gigantic bed. I’m grinning just remembering that.
We were both in Tokyo for a British Council showcase in 2010, and ended up out drinking at least a couple of nights, cutting a dash with Tim Crouch, Mark Ball, Matt Adams, yes us forty-somethings were big in Japan. Some of the stations on the Tokyo Metro had a theme tune (I guess for accessibility). This particular station had as its theme The Third Man, but replayed on a casio keyboard. One night we landed there tipsy. Adrian just sang along – rinky-tinky-tink-atink, a rinky-tinky-tink-atink – full of glee, before pursuing a couple of waiters and serenading them – rinky-tinky-tink-atink.
And this week, a lovely tribute moment at Theatre Delicatessen with a projection behind the bar circus. Then a barful of young (and not so young) makers, who directly or not have all been touched by the impact of Adrian and his work. And we all stood up and yelled.