Another of the theatre pieces I've seen in recent weeks that, in its surreptitious way, made me want to get started here was Honest by DC Moore. I'd been kicking myself for not seeing The Empire while it was at the Royal Court, more so after seeing this. Honest is excoriating, from start to finish: in its attack on the inefficiency of most civil servants (which had my husband, a civil servant, squirming with laughter); in its desperation at the schisms in society, of class and upbringing and education; most of all, in its portrayal of Dave, exquisitely played by Trystan Gravelle, as a man generally secure in his own sense of, at the very least, equanimity, but momentarily shattered by the overwhelming and incalculable horror of our world.
There was one bit in particular that I keep coming back to, and that's his description of Stockwell and Clapham. I live between the two, and Moore's evaluation of the area is faultless. It's late, and Dave is running along Clapham Road from Stockwell station:
A bit coz I'm mad but also because it's Stockwell and really quite scary.
I'd forgotten that.
And after what seems like eight years of horrible estates on my right and lovely Victorian houses on my left, I get to Clapham.
Clapham High Street.
Every vaguely posh graduate that you ever thought was the biggest prick you'd ever met in your life and they've all had a meeting – an AGM – and decided to live in the same area.
On the rare occasions when I find myself on Clapham High Street after children's bedtime, and sometimes even in the daytime, that's exactly how I feel. Although, as my mum so kindly pointed out, I live here, so that must make me one of them. How shallow the foundations for our sense of superiority.
As an aside, last night I randomly put on the new album by the Leisure Society and had a bit of a moment with this song: