Today, my creative project, and the many who have helped shape it, were dealt a sudden and terrible blow with the death of my premiere collaborator and all around good guy, Keith Matthews (1960-2015). He was found in his flat this afternoon, departed from our world.
He was a hard working man with an infectious sense of humour and a strong, determined voice, never afraid to speak his mind on anything or about anyone. He ran the Kentish Town Oxfam bookshop like the smoothest ship imaginable, always being kind and courteous to staff and customers, while still making time for friends, many of whom shared his passion for the arts. He had enjoyed a life in the theatre, working up as an assistant and runner back in places like Notting Hill Gate and Edinburgh across the 70s and 80s, and had over the years acted and directed in an assortment of plays in a variety of styles and genres. He also wrote a one off BBC Radio comedy series, produced within the bookshop itself, called S.O.S, as well as his own nonfiction book detailing the history of popular radio series Just A Minute. Heck, he even got to meet the likes of Peter O'Toole and Kenneth Williams over the course of his life.
Heck, he even made it into local news with a landmark find concerning the HMS Titanic. See for yourself here: http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/heritage/century_old_logbook_of_doomed_hms_drake_given_to_kentish_town_oxfam_by_mystery_donor_1_3827367
He was a tremendous inspiration for me, helping me get over my many nerves and doubts as a budding creative and always pushing me to go out and pursue my dreams, no matter the odds. He was greatly invested in this project, and my one regret, no matter how successful V.S.T. ends up becoming, will be to not see him enjoying the sight of it or being a part of it. As of now, the audio recording is disbanded, and a beacon in my life has gone out.
Rest in Peace you silly old git. You deserve it.