Three words. Sir Tuesday Peregrine-Archer. As I waited back stage at the Venetian, I realised I hadn’t been this nervous since Mel Gibson called to my home to critique my review of Apocalypto. Nothing I’d read about Sir Peregrine Archer’s meteoric rise, from minor member of Dublin’s first family of journalism to international superstar, could have prepared me for this moment. His one man show ‘Gandhi, the Brooklyn Cabby Years’ has traveled from the Edinburgh festival to London’s West End, Broadway, to it’s current home as a top selling Vegas attraction; proving that far from being a untalented, sanctimonious, one trick non entity, Sir Peregrine-Archer is amongst the great comedic visionaries at work today. With his rapier wit and distinct, effeminate lisp, Peregrine-Archer has become a latter day Coward, the boast and terror of the highest echelons of London, Tokyo, and New York society. Rarely seen without his once shabby, now ultra fashionable, nouveau boheme fleece and fox fur ushanka, and always sweetened by the latest in a string of dizzying arm candies, Sir Peregrine-Archer cuts an elegant yet iconoclastic figure.
The door to my storage closet sprung open, and a rudely be-muscled Nubian giant thrust his way in. This then was Peregrine-Archer’s faithful manservant, masseuse and bodyguard, Titan.
‘Sir Peregrine-Archer will see you now’, he announced in a booming Jamaican tenor. A voice like a magnificent sub woofer drilling for the brown note. As I followed in the colossus’s intimidating wake, my teeth chattered in unbearable anticipation, like friendly children in a queue for some cruel dentist. I was about to meet another titan, a personal hero of comedy, a man described by McCourt, writing in the Irish Times as ‘..a fella who could out bugger Wilde.’
The lift up to Peregrine-Archer’s penthouse suite, situated at the very peak of the opulent Venezia Towers, took what seemed like a clichéd amount of time, ultimately opening into a marble and gold lame lobby, which framed the teak and ivory door to this world famous ‘shimmering centre of beauty, romance, power and passion’. Like two great hands spreading the cheeks of creativity himself, the portal parted, and I entered Peregrine-Archer’s world. The opulence, taste, and witty sophistication displayed in this suite, Peregrine-Archers reward for eighteen long years of international entertainment, were beyond the ability of mere words to conjure, and rich colour prints taken during our interview are available for purchase in the magazines catalogue. Each print is lovingly enveloped in the softest Koala fur, and presented in a limited edition ‘pill cabinet’ boxette, designed by former NWA enfant terrible, Chuck D.
Titan led me through a series of rooms of ever greater magniloquence. We passed libraries so brobdingnagian as to disappear into orotundity, mastodonic corridors displaying selections of modern and contemporary art to rival the combined Met and Sachi collections, pulchritudinous vista’s of the strip at night, vividly lit by splendrous perfervid reels of neon, variegated inveiglements to gaming pleasure.
Finally, the throne room, the cauldron of Peregrine-Archer’s creative juices, the place where dreams are birthed. He faced me across a ludicrously tasteful Neiman Marcus Margeaux desk of scalloped hardwood, his recherche tussle of unkempt fronts, bent over some inconceivable act of creation. After several minutes, during which I quivered like a Tutsi at a Hutu barbecue, he set down his Visconti Forbidden City Limited Edition Red and Vermeil Fountain Pen, and thrust his infamously penetrating gaze into me.
JF: Sir Peregrin-Archer, it is our very great honour to be allowed to ask you, on behalf of our readers, just who is Tuesday Peregrine-Archer, the man?
PA: Of course, my pleasure.
JF: Sir Peregrine-Archer, many of our readers are very great fans of your work and..
PA: Many of your weadas?
JF: All of our readers are simply enormously thrilled to hear of your accomplishments. What might rank among your highest achievements?
PA: A rather inthipid question. Certainly, I wealise the impact my work has had. Both on the course of comedy in general, and in the pleasure it has cweatah fow the millions who’ve seen me perform. But, for me, I think the sheer inhabitance of character I imagine on stage, the wesplendenth epiphanies of humanity, the almost academic insight into charactah, yes, thas is my legacy.
JF: Your character in Ghandi..
PA: Ah, indeed. A grand twope dath. Perhaps you would like me to explain?
JF: An honour Sir Peregrine-Archer. If I’ve understood correctly, that is to say, I believe, the tale embodies the themes of poverty in a time of wealth, pacifism in a time of violence.
PA: Piffle! You’ve delibertly mithunderstood the entire point of the dwamataturgical cweasion! How you became a critic of anything, much less theater is beyond my compwehension!
JF: Apologies Sir Peregrine-Archer.
PA: Indeed. As you’ve seen in the show, I wecweate Ghandi. But! Ghandi as a cab dwiver. Not merely a cab dwiver, but a cab dwiver in Brooklyn! Do you thee?
JF: I believe so.
PA: Go on..
JF: I think, perhaps, if I may be so bold, that you refer to Ghandi the man, the historic figure, confronted with the bigotries and anti-immigrant sentiments of contemporary America.
PA: See here, you bean bollocked nincompoop. I’m talking about Ghandi, dwiving a taxi! Imagine, the tiny Indian famous for his historical importance, but speaking just like you and me, laughing, flirting with the ladies, thmoking when there’s no one in the cab. Do you see?
JF: So..so..you’ve humanised the figure of Ghandi for a modern audience?
PA: Exactly my dear fellow. Human. He was afther all, we forget to eathily, a human. They were all human, Ghandi, Kennedy, Buddha. Fingers, hair, artheholes, the lot! Completely human.
JF: Sir Peregrine-Archer, if I may be so bold. How has playing this role affected you?
PA: Oh, deeply of courth. One takes on the chawacteristics of the woles one portways. I feel myself being more humble and twying to understand people with compassion wather than getting angwy. And I’ve developed an almost unquenchable taste for curry. Wather hard on the bowels I’m afwaid.
JF: If I may venture one final question.. You’ve had unparalleled and richly deserved critical acclaim and financial success with ‘Ghandi, the Brooklyn Cabby Years’. What’s next for Tuesday Peregrine-Archer?
PA: Well, that’s something I’ve considered of course, over the past eighteen years as I’ve toured the show I’ve asked myself, what other historic figures deserve my considewation? Whom can I wecontextualise, juxtaposing their notorious characterwistics to comedic and thought pwovoking effect. After long consideration I hit upon the perfect story. It was actually a chance comment by my good fwiend Bonovox which pwovided me with the seed. I’ve been germinating the pwoject in secret for several years now, and I feel the time has come to announce it to the world.
JF: Please, Sir Peregrine Archer, if you would be so kind.
PA: ‘Hitler, the H Block Years’, takes place in Northern Ireland of the late nineteen seventies, a time of stwuggle, a time of debate over the nature of identity and peace.
PA: I can tell I’ve surprised you. That’s what happens when one bweaks new comic ground.
JF: Could you perhaps grant our readers a brief outline of the story?
PA: Certainly. Young Adolph, brash and idealistic, full of nationalistic zeal (do you thee ha ha!), in seeking to fwee Ireland from her colonial master, is jailed for his part in the histowic stwuggle. As his years of impwisonment pass, Adolph must question his own commitment to violence, and his own hatwed of the protestant foe.
JF: A drama then?
PA: A musical comedy, and I’ve witten a vawiety of new material on guitar to accompany the action. Thong’s like ‘Actually I’ve Goth A Girlfwiend, I’m Not a Confirmed Batchelor’, and ‘That Amadain Undermining the Undertones’, will fill out the action, as Adolph finds his message of unification is communicated better by the way of the guitar, than the way of the Kalashnikov.
JF: On behalf of your countless admirers, I’d like to thank you for this opportunity to enjoy the privilege of your company.
PA: Not at all, not at all, the true pwivilege is to be able to return a little of the pleasure your money has given me.
Sir Tuesday Peregrine-Archer will be signing copies of his autobiography ‘Just Dessert‘, at Eason on O’Connell St in Dublin, on February 5th. ‘Hitler, the H Block Years’, opens in convent Garden on March 10th.