Artbeat: Writer and spoken word poet Patrick Cash
May 11, 2016
I was introduced to Patrick late last year after seeing his work ‘Queers’ at the intimate King’s Head Theatre. Having always had a voice in the LGBT world, and closely connected to the gay scene in a variety of different ways, Patrick is someone who I admire for looking to find vulnerability amongst the ‘scene’ and help people connect with one another. His latest work is ‘The Chemsex Monologues’ and will explore the tender, human stories behind the much reported affliction.
From Bristol originally, and transplanted back to the UK following stints in the US, Paris and Berlin, he is now part of the trendy South London massive – Peckham.
Why Chemsex monologues now?
I feels like this is a relevant time as it’s prevalent amongst certain sections of gay men. Some people are annoyed by being tarred by that brush. With the media furore about Chemsex, it obscures people and their actual lives, presenting a damning picture of these people to the external world. The play is about finding their humanity and truth, which is very real.
What do you personally get from writing?
Reading from an early age played a part and I enjoyed immersing myself in another world. Now I enjoy creating a world for others, although it’s hard, fucking hard. There is something beautiful about building characters and maturing them. I like to find an emotional truth and some of my life experiences come through in my work.
Describe London in three words.
Massive, magnificent and lonely. Massive because there are so many people, it can be overwhelming. Part of that is also magnificent, it’s a wonderful city. There are amazing people, the gay scene is diverse and you can do something different every night. There is a rich rich tapestry of life in London. But sometimes Lonely because of that massiveness.
What/who inspired you to do what you do?
Jamie O’Neill who wrote ‘At Swim, Two Boys’. It was set in 1916 about the Irish uprising against the British but at the heart of it is a story between two boys. It made me think about my sexuality, presented as something utterly natural. That book had real emotional truth which touched me, moved me and was something that I wanted to create for others.
What was the song of your youth?
Placebo – Every me, Every you. I was really into rock music and the lead singer was bisexual. Having a strong Catholic upbringing, I shunned some of the gay stereotypes and didn’t really feel I could like Madonna.
What do you love about what you do?
If you have affected somebody and made them see life slightly differently, or even reflect on something emotionally on stage through their own story, then I’m always grateful to have been able to achieve that. I also want to bring queer issues to a more straight audience to help shine a light on these issues in society.
Having to do it all, doing every role behind the scenes. It’s nice to be part of the process, but can be very stressful doing every single thing. Building yourself up in theatre industry is fucking hard. The reward is when you get great feedback.
What makes London’s arts and culture scene unique to you?
That’s it’s so great and vast. There are articles about London’s creatives moving to Berlin but there are amazing people staying in London. The Glory (LGBT venue in East London) is always doing something amazing every night. Then you have the spoken word scene in London, which is young and enthusiastic.
Who should we be keeping an eye out for?
Rubyyy Jones (a queerlesque performer) is absolutely fantastic. Rudi Douglas, an Irish singer whose voice moves me. Jacob Joyce who is a fantastic queer poet and people of colour activist. The list is endless!
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
Taking part in boxing match. To cut a long story short, I got involved with this following some of the gay hate crimes that took place and wanted to defend myself. I ended up being convinced to take part in a boxing match at the Scala in Kings Cross and in the week leading up to it I was terrified. It was a great experience though.
Share something about you that would surprise us!
I am a romantic and can be a bit soppy sometimes. I can be shy or awkward in certain situations, especially on the gay scene.
What’s your favourite spot in London?
Soho. It’s a nice and proprietary village vibe here and I’m often here. There are elements of it changing, but I think it will always have that element of intoxication.
Who do you love to follow on Twitter/ Instagram?
Shon Faye, Dazed writer who has brilliant posts. They present a very acerbic look at the world.
What’s the last country you visited?
Berlin, for ‘Let’s talk about gay sex and drugs’ (a gay men’s well-being group I run here in Soho) I went for the launch night where there was a very international crowd.
Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
Richard Watkins. He is a fantastic actor and working on The Chemsex Monologues. He is also a great friend, and so has empathy and an understanding of me and what I’ve gone through to bring that story to life.
What are you doing after this Interview?
Going for a rehearsal with Rich, ahead of next week’s shows.