La Cieca has just learned more details about the Royal Opera’s Naked Executioner Guy and she’s sure that we all want to stay right on top of the story. Naked Executioner Guys’s real name is Duncan Meadows. He is a busker who, like so many in the busking biz, does the bulk of his bulking in the Covent Garden area.


According to a feature in the Times, one lovely day last summer Meadows (a former Mr. Wales) up to a bit of the old busky busk. As usual, he slathered himself in silver body paint, donned his leather skirt and centurion’s helmet, and began waving about a plastic sword.


And who should happen along but stage director David McVicar! The keen-eyed regisseur looked past Meadows’ busky exterior where he glimpsed a certain dramatic possiblity. “I saw him outside and thought that he had just the right body for the part,” McVicar explained.

However, McVicar felt a bit diffident about sauntering up to a musclebound street mime and proposing, So, my good fellow, shall we nip back to the opera house and have a butcher’s at what you look like starkers? (Oh, La Cieca just loves to write in dialect despite the fact that she is not very good at it.) So, anyway McVicar sent an assistant to “sound [Meadows] out,” but, wouldn’t you just know it, the potential executioner was just on his way to (as the Times puts it) “the West Coast of America,” where one assumes he spends every winter panning for gold and ambushing Red Indians.

Upon his return from the New World, Meadows encountered McVicar “at a gym” (the story does not offer any more detail than that) and the director himself this time was the one who did the “sounding out.” All’s well that busks well, and so now Meadows earns a neat £300 weekly for his onstage duties in Salome in addition to the £400 in tips he garners buskily in the piazza. As La Cieca understands the current rate of exchange, that’s like 20 million dollars, though perhaps she should take a closer look at where the decimal point goes.

Oh, and did La Cieca mention that Meadows’ busking repertoire also includes The Incredible Hulk?


Anyway, in a related story, Peter Gelb has announced that the Met is going to revive La fanciulla del West. He promises an “unconventional” casting choice as Jake Wallace.