Goodbye Cruel World

Unfortunately, due to a series of the most unfortunate and catastrophic events smashing wildly and unexpectedly into each other- I have had to cancel the show.
The Greatest Show That Ever Died, remains dead.              
The universe has dealt some devastating blows in a whole variety of situations, and sadly this is one of them.
To be able to live as I do in London, I need to not be paying rent. I found a way to do this through house sitting. Sometimes you’re living the dream, other times it’s sofa surfing, squat life and tinder dates.

As well as my tempestuous sleeping arrangements, I have also been secretly struggling for a creative reason to live. For a while now, I have been slowly slipping into an uphill battle with a whirling pit of despair. Nothing was moving, everything was stuck. Most things felt lost.
The only real joy and sanctuary was my art studio, which was generously donated to me a few years ago by The Vaults. No matter what was going on, I could always go there and feel at some sort of reassuring peace. Secretly stored underground, It was another world, another place where nothing and no one could touch you.
In my despair I prayed to the universe for something to happen. Jesus, throw something at me god-dam.
And the universe did.
I was excited by an offer for a new show. It seemed to fit the bill of giving me a creative reason to live again. I saw a glimmer of light at the end of a dark dark tunnel….But as I got closer to the light, the more it looked like burning ££££ signs, and the warm glow was suddenly giving me 3rd degree burns. I decided to put the show on independently and burst out of this creative black hole myself. 
Time to dust the jazz hands off and get them back into some dead animals.

Then I lost my art studio.
I lost my love.
I lost my beating heart.
My place of resolution and resolve. My lifeline had just be severed.
The only words that came out of my mouth were FUCK.
And for 5 hours, I had fuck tourettes. 

The task before me was insane. Heinous. My whole friggin life to be extradited. My only option was to dispose and sell as much of my soul as I could bear to part with., .
The word got out. Soon there was a daily invasion of vultures, and for 3 weeks they poked, prodded and purchased my most precious outpourings and possession. Fighting back the tears with every pound that was put in my purse, my suffering was obvious for all to see. Some people came with condolences, some came screaming and leaving in delight.
I hated them all whoever they were and regardless of how much they spent.
Strangely, the only thing I regret selling is this.
This sell off still didn’t touch the sides of my collection and the things I couldn’t part with now needed a new home…. and I needed a hero to help me get it there.
I needed a hero with guts of steel and a heart of gold.
Finally, the universe delivered something I've been searching for all my life.
Van Man Dan arrived like a knight on four wheels of armour. He rolled in with an attitude of ‘Yes to everything forever’, .  agreed with everything I said, and together, we moved a fuck ton of weird ass shit.
I have never experienced such service 

Every other van man in the history of my transport experience has given me grief. Every single one of the fuckers.  
The rule is; if you drive a van- you’re a dick. 
One refused to move me because he thought I was on drugs-crack apparently. One threatened to call the police after the freezer lid fell open bla bla the list is endless. So after gumtree consistently churning out weirdos, I decided to go pro. I wanted to make absolutely sure that the next guy would be VERY STRONG, CAPABLE and PROFESSIONAL. The bookings agent laughed and assured me I had “nothing to worry about. Ha ha ha.
The next morning two absolute douchbags from the arse crack of life crawled in. They saw the job and then declared that it was much more expensive and time consuming than previously imagined. 

I’ve been moving this stuff my entire life, if anyone knows how long that baby will take to pack, it’s me mother fucker-
So, after screaming down the phone at whoever sent them, they were left open mouthed as they watched me steam power pack a Luton Van in half a god-dam hour. 
They said they had never seen anything like it..

 No one will ever truly know the obstacles I have had to overcome and extraordinary acts of strength and static agility I have achieved through pure panic and adrenaline.

….So you can see why this Van Man experience was like nothing on earth:

 2 weeks later I was told to get myself and all the enormous amount of everything I’d just moved in, out.
Another devastating blow. This was especially especially bad because it was where I was planning to rehearse…. and also where my freezers full of beloved dead animals were being kept. Turns out no reputable storage firm takes freezers full of dead animals, even if you don’t tell them.
The company Safestorage can only be described as a prison for stuff, and once again, Van Man Dan was right by my side, transporting the pieces of my revolving cesspit of a life to prison. Now most of my stuff was safely banged up, there was still the problem of the defrosting freezers. . .

My friend was away in Disneyland and had a small (basically unused) unit under Haggerston arches…. I’d already hit it up with stuff a few weeks ago, thinking I could get it out before her return from Holiday…Which I did. …But then the frezzer problem reared it’s defrosting head and there was literally nowhere else to turn. It was only a matter of time before she found them.

Time went very quickly.
As soon as she returned, she announced she was going to start renovating the space…
The prospect of telling her and having to find a place to host my frozen tombs was the tip of this terrifying list:
No studio
Nowhere to live
Nowhere to rehearse
Nowhere to make set
Nowhere to store the frozen cast
No phone, obviously
And no Tinder to take any of the pain away.

The universe was really punching hard. Everywhere I went, everything I did, the universe would rear it’s universal head, forcing me to do the most physically and mentally challenging things at an utterly unbearable rate.
My body was bruised, my mind was bent and my heart was broken.  
Needless to say, my whirling pit of despair deepened, and trying to work creatively in this amplified state of emergency was just not happening.

Having a space to create is what keeps me sane and functioning as a human being.
It’s the equivalent of your garden shed, but in the most extreme way possible.

The ability to express myself in my own environment is what I absolutely live for, even when I have no reason to live, if I have the space to do it in, I have something.
This has broken me down, dismantled my life and forced me to reconsider how I want to be living.
Because right now really isn’t.

For the same price as my shitty stuff prison, I can have a massive frigging studio- with plug sockets.
That sounds like a life worth living to me!
London just isn't justifying itself in any way.

Apparently the universe wants me to have a whole new life. And I agree.
So I’m relocating to a place where grass is green and the hippies fly backwards.
As far as I'm concerned, Londons loss is Bristols gain.


  1. Good luck Charlie. Had to do the lo Don exodus myself and I've heard good things about Bristol (was second on my list of places to go after Manchester but only because Manchester has people I know. I wish you the restoration of all the love and creative joy and sanctuary you'd had before threehundredfold. You deserve it x
    Imogen (Diane Goldie's eldest daughter

    1. Hey Imogen, Ive heard great things about Manchester too, so if it all goes tits up again i'll come and find you ;)
      Am very much looking forward to the threehundredfold.
      Love from
      Charlie Gates.

  2. Hi Charlie, I found your page by accident a couple of weeks ago because taxidermy + puppets = hell yes. You seem like an absolute fucking gem mate and it sucks real bad to see you had to cancel the show and uproot yourself, but Bristol is a great place. I live in Brighton and I hear it's the other city where you can walk around in public with a spliff. Stay sane and keep creating you crazy diamond

    1. Ha ha, great news. I've heard good things about Bristol so going to take everyones word on it.
      Good to know you stumbled upon a happy accident and thanks for your words :)
      Love from
      Charlie Gates.

  3. Stay strong Charlie.. and if you ever need someone to move your shit again give me a bell JEFF

  4. I hope Bristol turns out better for you- I know a number of people heading there for a better life. London is rapidly becoming a boring dystopia.

    On the people who bought things from your studio- I'm sure there were vultures, but there was at least one who loves your work and thought he was helping you keep making it. You have a lot of wonderful ideas and execute them beautifully- it's natural people who can't do what you do will want the things you make. I really hope this experience helps you find somewhere you can be safe and find creative outlets.

    1. Thank you Anonymous, London isn't an easy place to be- not that I like my life easy, but this toad has noticed that the water around it is rapidly excellerating in the heat department and it's not going to sit here and die.

      Most of the people that came were actually incredibly nice and supportive and they did help me shed some shekels of the past and indeed enable me to move on to make more work. I just felt like the carcass for a change and was trying to do the situation some poetic justice.

      Looking to the future, I've put a deposit on another studio and move in next week! This has indeed given me a reason to live, because without a space to make and create there really is none.

      Please come and visit any time :)
      Love from
      Charlie Gates.

  5. Hi Charlie, I've Whatsapped you. Have a garage you could put your freezers in for a couple of weeks. Camberwell Nr Denmark Hill station. Radha x

    1. Blesss your blessed soul. Alas, I have had no phone, so no whattasapp for me. The freezers have found a home until they leave for pastures new.
      Love from
      Charlie Gates.

  6. Wow amazing all dedicated to this Charlie. You must be so impressed I am Loving what you put Into. So much thought time in energy beautifully orchestrated. must say I just love the fact you've put so much into this and it's amazing I love it


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