Virginia Ironside

What A Character, Eh!

You Cannot Live as I Have Lived and Not End Up Like This: The Thoroughly Disgraceful Life and Times of Willie Donaldson

By

Ebury Press 342pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Even though I was around in London in the Sixties at the same time as Willie Donaldson, I never actually met him. I know of him only by reputation – for the moment when he took up a show at the Edinburgh Fringe starring my soon-to-be husband and brought it, with co-producer Michael White, to the West End.

In a masterstroke of self-destruction, he insisted it be called ‘****’. Naturally, because this was completely unpronounceable (Fuck? Cunt? Cock? Shit? – every swear word was represented by four stars in those censorious days), it only ran for a week. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,