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Heathcote Williams

1

Heathcote Williams was an English poet, actor, political activist and dramatist.

Royal Babylon by Heathcote Williams (rough cut) by MrCowshedder

2

He wrote a number of book-length polemical poems including Autogeddon, Falling for a Dolphin and Whale Nation, which in 1988 became, according to Philip Hoare, "the most powerful argument for the newly instigated worldwide ban on whaling."

Whaling is the hunting of whales for their usable products like meat, oil and blubber.

Autogeddon is an album by Julian Cope released in 1994 via The Echo Label.

Philip Hoare is a British writer, especially of history and biography.

ROYAL BABYLON: The Criminal Record Of The British Monarchy by INODEUX

3

Williams invented his idiosyncratic 'documentary/investigative poetry' style which he put to good purpose bringing a diverse range of environmental and political matters to public attention.

4

In June 2015, he published a book-length investigative poem about the "Muslim Gandhi", Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, "Badshah Khan".

Khan Abdul Ghaffār Khān, nicknamed Bādshāh Khān or Bāchā Khān, was a Pashtun independence activist against the rule of the British Raj.

5

As well as being a playwright and screenwriter, Williams appeared in a number of well-known Independent and Hollywood films and was among the celebrity guests in the last episode of season 4 of Friends, '"The One With Ross's Wedding"'.

Friends is an American television sitcom, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004, lasting ten seasons.

6

He played Prospero in Derek Jarman's The Tempest and appeared in several "arthouse" films, including Orlando, as well as Hollywood blockbusters such as Basic Instinct 2. Al Pacino played the part of a Williams fan in a spoof arts documentary, Every Time I Cross the Tamar I Get into Trouble.

The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone.

Michael Derek Elworthy Jarman was an English film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener and author.

An art film is typically a serious, independent film aimed at a niche market rather than a mass market audience.

7

Williams also wrote lyrics, collaborating with Marianne Faithfull among others.

Marianne Evelyn Gabriel Faithfull is an English singer, songwriter and actress.

8

Williams was a keen naturalist and discovered a new species of honey-producing wasp in the Amazon jungle, an event he recorded in a book of poems called Forbidden Fruit Williams was a magician and a member of The Magic Circle.

The Magic Circle is a British organisation, dedicated to promoting and advancing the art of magic.

9

He wrote a TV play called What the Dickens!

10

about Charles Dickens's penchant for performing magic shows.

Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic.

11

Bob Hoskins taught him fire eating.

12

When he went to demonstrate his new found talent to then girlfriend Jean Shrimpton, he accidentally set himself alight on her doorstep.

13

Williams was a leading activist in the London squatting scene in the 1970s and ran a squatters "estate agency" called the "Ruff Tuff Cream Puff".

Squatting is the action of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building, usually residential, that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use.

14

In 1977 he and a couple of hundred fellow squatters established the "state" of Frestonia in Notting Hill and declared independence from Britain.

Frestonia was the name adopted by the residents of Freston Road, London, when they attempted to secede from the United Kingdom in 1977.

Notting Hill is an affluent district in West London, located north of Kensington within the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

15

The then Shadow Chancellor, Geoffrey Howe, wrote to express his support and Williams was appointed UK Ambassador.

Richard Edward Geoffrey Howe, Baron Howe of Aberavon, CH, PC, QC, known from 1970 to 1992 as Sir Geoffrey Howe, was a British Conservative politician.

Great Britain, also known as Britain, is a large island in the north Atlantic Ocean off the north-west coast of continental Europe.

16

Frestonia lasted almost a decade and had its own institutions and postage stamps.

17

Williams spray-painted graffiti on the walls of Buckingham Palace as a protest against the Queen signing Michael X's death warrant while there was no capital punishment in the UK.

Graffiti are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other surface, often within public view.

Michael X, born Michael de Freitas in Trinidad and Tobago, was a self-styled black revolutionary and civil rights activist in 1960s London.

Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.

18

In the early 1970s, his agitational graffiti were a feature on the walls of the then low-rent end of London's Notting Hill district.

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