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28 October 2014
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Thursday 5 June 2003
John Hegley - The Sound of Paint Drying
John Hegley - picture by Jack di Stefano
John Hegley
In 1931 Rene Hegley painted a picture of Old Nice. He was twenty-six.

In 2001 John Hegley, (his son), went to the same street to capture the image for himself on canvas. He was forty-seven.
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BBC Poetry
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John Hegley - The Sound of Paint Drying
Contact Theatre
5-6 June
0161 274 0600
8.00pm £11/£8
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John Hegley

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Now Mr Hegley Jnr. is on tour with The Sound of Paint Drying and arrives in Manchester on June 5th for two nights at the Contact Theatre.

John Hegley - picture by Jack di Stefano
John Hegley

To accompany the tour John Hegley has a new book out called, surprisingly, The Sound of Paint Drying. It's described as 'a collection of poems, sketches, songs, stories and diary entries which date back to boyhood in a Luton bungalow', and does exactly what it says on the cover.

It's an interesting insight into the poets' early life exposing early signs of his comic genius. But you can't help but feel that there was a lot more that he wanted to say about his father.

'On Saturday me and my dad went to confession
together
I asked him what he'd confessed;
he said he told the priest
he'd lost his temper with me, again.

Today we went to London
on the train for a day out.
Just me and my dad
I wondered why it wasn't all of us.
I think maybe the priest
has told him to spend a day with his son on his own
as a penance.'

The Sound of Paint Drying
The Sound of Paint Drying

It would be easy to regard this book as a dipper, with seemingly unrelated chunks of John Hegley's life, but I devoured it in one afternoon - and it would have been sooner if I hadn't kept showing bits to my family with declarations such as "He's lived my life" and "Just read this bit about the man on the Tube".

If the show is half as entertaining as the book then I'd feel cheated, as John Hegley excels in front of an audience.

The Sound of Paint Drying by John Hegley is published by Methuen at £10.99.

Richard Fair

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