It’s good to be back with another injection of ingenuity for our meet the team series. This month it’s our absolute pleasure to introduce you to one of our Brighton escape game hosts, Slyme Sylmey – aka Simon. As he would put it, Slyme is more unlike any other weirdo you’ve never actually met. He defines himself as a performer, actor, twisted cabaret clown, model, writer, poet, musician and idiot. Enough foreplay, let’s fondle his brain and discover what makes our Slyme Slymey tick.
When did you get involved with Handmade Mysteries, and what have been your biggest highlights?
I first played Baldwyn (Plumbottom’s man servant) in the Plumbottom’s Return sideshow during the Brighton Festival throughout May 2016. All of my time with Handmade Mysteries has been amazing, although being involved as Head Host in the set-up of the game at our new Brighton venue the World’s End and subsequently hosting in the super improved room we have there, is my biggest highlight.
Let’s start with Gabriel. How do you get into character and would you say there are parts of you in there?
I begin my preparations by endangering and invalidating irrelevant ephemera in my path before sallying forth to leer at and disturb random passers-by with my questionable habits and intoxicated demeanour.
If you got to meet the real Gabriel in a time machine, would you get on?
Unsettling, macabre, devious and twisted? Chip off the old block!
If you could pick anyone famous to host an escape game, who would it be? And why?
Klaus Kinski. KLAUS KINSKI! Because I can’t think of anyone half as deranged and intense for the job.
What are your thoughts on emerging escape rooms in the UK and the impact both on consumers who are swallowed up by technology and on creatives looking for more employment opportunities?
Recent technological advances have facilitated an escape into (partially) virtual realms for players of computer games, escape room london games and the whole global population via their phones. Whereas theatrical techniques of immersion and suspending disbelief have existed for millennia.
I imagine that escape rooms will need to keep a balance of both to avoid becoming just a self-accessed, remote experience via an app. The interesting challenge for me, is how to incorporate innovations being made in this field into drama.
When you are not scaring the bejesus out of players, what do you do with your time?
I write songs, poems, shows and prop up a lot of North Laine bars in louche clothing with a clique of performers and ne’er-do-wells while trawling for creative ideas. I’m currently rehearsing for my show, The Abstrusity of Lou Dacques. In it, I invite audience members onto stage where I make them complicit in the carrying out of lewd acts. Currently, that’s zipping a subject into a suitcase and then perforating the case with dildos whilst reciting poetry; getting people to strip black letter ‘T’s off me as I dance in French knickers and stilettos to ‘the stripper’s song’ played by me on Kazoo; have the audience accompany me in my rawkus-tra as I perform my hit single ‘V.I.P. Urinal’.
Sound like your cuppa tea? Watch this performance if you dare…
Standard. So, on Facebook you describe yourself as a performer, actor, twisted cabaret clown, model, writer, poet, musician, idiot – tell us more about these other exploits in your life…
I have always been a one. A little bit and at times a lot more. Gauging people’s (shocked) responses to me has been a lifelong lesson and I’m glad to say I have learnt to become even more flamboyant and inappropriate as I’ve gone on.
My personality has been the driving force behind my choices. As a youth I ran off to live in a vehicle and be involved in the very early free-rave scene. In the 1990s I focussed on teaching English in war zones, first Cambodia then Azerbaijan.
Although I worked in education back in the UK it was in Brighton, where many wild and creative friends and events kept me in a milieu more suitable for my ‘take-your-clothes-off and flatten on-comers with verbosity’ approach. Ultimately, I have to thank the bankers for crashing the economy and making me lose my house, wife and job and propelling me into this current form. Being poor and unemployable, I have grafted and moved on from busker and artist’s model to fully fledged idiot.
Any big projects you are working on at the moment?
Just published my first book. Have 100 more up my sleeve. Thinking of producing an album of songs and performing absurdist audio-shows to be downloaded on-line.
Wow, that’s a lot. How do you balance work and family?
I put my daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington.
What advice would you give to yourself 20 years ago?
Pull out before you come.
Lovely, what a perfect note to end on
There you have it. Yet another peek into the wonderfully bizarre world of one of our escape game hosts. Want more? You can watch one of Simon’s performances on YouTube (if you dare) or read more meet the team interviews. If the idea of being locked in a room with Slyme Slymey sounds appealing you can catch him at The World’s End in Brighton.