Lights, camera, action! Otway movie is due for a Pendley presentation

Every inch a star: John Otway at the London premiere of his movie
Every inch a star: John Otway at the London premiere of his movie

Nobody would ever mistake John Otway for a shrinking violet.

Since he grabbed his first 15 minutes of fame in the heady punk days of the 1970s he’s been pulling any stroke he can think of to stay in the limelight – and you’ve got to love him for it.

And thanks to his devoted if slightly dotty fans, he’s made a living out of music and mania for the best part of 40 years, and clearly still loves every minute.

It was his fans who pushed him back into the charts for his second hit single as a birthday present, it was a campaign by his fans who pushed one of his lyrics into the top 10 of a BBC poll to find the best of all time.

He’s booked the Royal Albert Hall and filled it, and if enough devotees of his dottiness could not be found to finance his planned world tour – in a chartered jet which would have taken the fans, as well as the band, to gigs as far afield as the Sydney Opera House – it wasn’t for want of trying.

And when Aylesbury’s cult comic troubadour decided that the time was right to star in his own biopic, it was the fans who stumped up the cash to make it possible.

Otway being Otway, he hired the Odeon in London’s Leicester Square for a red carpet premiere when the project was completed a year ago.

You can catch the film at Pendley’s Court Theatre next Wednesday, and have a chance to quiz the man of the moment about his remarkable, if ramshackle, career. Tickets for the 8pm screening at £10 and there will be a question and answer session after the credits roll.

The film show is part of the Court Short mini-arts festival organised by the team behind the annual Tringe comedy festival, which also sees singer-pianist Joe Stilgoe performing on Sunday evening and cartoonist Tony Husband and poet Ian McMillan teaming up for an evening of comedy and improvisation.

Find out full details of the programme online at www.courttheatre.co.uk.