FEATURE: Getting To Know…Guy Mankowski | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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We caught up with author and brains behind New Art Social at Quilliam Brothers, Guy Mankowski. We find out more about him and his wonderfully creative night which next takes place on Saturday 28th July. The next New Art Social welcomes poet Tony Williams and poet and musician Hollie Martorella.

So, tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m an author who was born on the Isle of Wight. I write books on various subjects- I wrote one set in the 80’s Manchester music scene, and another set in the Russian ballet. I also run a night for creatives, called New Art Social.

What’s the first record you ever bought?
Ace of Base Happy Nation and Bon Jovi’s Crossroads. I got Woolworths vouchers for my birthday. Neither record let me down. At the time.

What’s your guilty pleasure musically?
I’m a sucker for thse also-ran Britpop bands like the Llama Farmers, which by rights no one should’ve listened to for twenty years but who I was playing today.

Favourite film of all time?
In interviews I tend to tell people it’s La Dolce Vita but the truth is it’s Heat. When I co-wrote a comedy script with my friend Greg Fox we used to celebrate completing an episode with a screening of Heat and a curry. And by trying to outdo one another with Al Pacino impressions.

Your guilty pleasure film?
I think the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock films are ridiculously good fun, and I’m ready to defend them to anyone who wants to challenge that.

If you could recommend one TV series to binge watch, what would it be?
I was blown away by Atlanta and am recommending it to everyone. It’s a series about a group of friends struggling to make a mark on the world, centred around a rapper caled Paperboi. There’s so many rich, funny nuances to it I found myself rewinding certain scenes thinking ‘how was that funny?’ It portrays the little hypocrisies and absurdities of the modern world so well. It also looks at the crappy ways people feel they can treat each other in the present day, but without going overboard (like in Peep Show). I think that series is an excellent mirror for modern times.

Your favourite book?
Asking an author that is tough! I love Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved and JD Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye. But the best writing I’ve recently read was by my friend Sara Hawys Roberts, who has her first book coming out soon

Who or what makes you laugh the most?
Chris Rock. The people closest to me know not to bring him up as I tend to recite.

Who or what makes you sad?
People bellyaching about having been treated badly, and then passing that stuff on in the way they treat others.

If you had super power, what would it be?
To read people’s minds. I trained for a while as a psychologist and for all the jokes people make along the lines of ‘so can you read my mind?’ I’ve recently realised that there is something insightful about that comment. I would like to. But then again, people shock me enough as it is.

And finally, you get to play a board game with any three famous people from history, who do you choose and what’s the board game?
Ha ha. I don’t know. Pictionary with Peter Cook, Jesus and Salvador Dali- because at least one of them could draw.

The next New Art Social is at Quilliam Brothers on Saturday 28th July.

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