David Hoyle

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David Hoyle


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David Hoyle (born 19 September 1962) is an English performance artist, avant-garde cabaret artist, singer, actor, comedian and film director. His performances are known to combine many disparate elements, from satirical comedy to painting, surrealism and even striptease, much of which is aggressive in nature. Himself homosexual, Hoyle's work has often focused on themes in the LGBTQ community, attacking what he sees as dominant trends in "bourgeois Britain and the materialistic-hedonistic gay scene". According to The Guardian his performances have led him to become "something of a legend" on the London cabaret circuit. Born into a lower-middle-class background in Layton, Blackpool, Lancashire, Hoyle was heavily bullied for his homosexuality as a child, leading to a mental breakdown aged fourteen. He began performing at a local working men's club before moving to London and then Manchester. It was here that he began performing at gay clubs in the city in the early 1990s, eventually developing the character known as The Divine David, an "anti-drag queen" who combined "lacerating social commentary" with "breathtaking instances of self-recrimination and even self-harm." Eventually taking his character to television, he appeared on the BBC's Comedy Nation (1998) and produced two shows for Channel 4, The Divine David Presents (1998) and then The Divine David Heals (2000). That year, he decided to bring an end to The Divine David character, performing a farewell show at Streatham Ice Arena entitled The Divine David on Ice. Retreating from his public appearances, Hoyle returned to his home in Manchester where he suffered from a mental breakdown that lasted several years. In 2005 he returned to television, appearing as the character Doug Rocket on Channel 4 sitcom Nathan Barley, and the next year he returned to the stage, performing as himself in a show entitled David Hoyle's SOS. Over the next few years he continued with a string of shows, most of which were held at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London, and which included Magazine (2007), Dave's Drop-In (2009), Licking Wounds (2010) and Lives (2011). In 2010 he also released his own feature film, Uncle David, in which he both directed and starred.