Artist, writer and Soho resident Sebastian Horsely has been found dead in his Soho flat just days after Dandy In The Underworld, a new play based on Horsley’s autobiography, premiered at the Soho theatre.
Horsley, who courted controversy when he was voluntarily crucified in 2002 to prepare himself for a new art project on the subject, attended the opening night of Tim Fountain’s play on Tuesday, where he seemed in high spirits, waving to friends as he waited for the premiere.
It is being reported, however, that seeing the production may have affected the former addict, who is quoted by the Evening Standard saying, after the show, “I knew I was obnoxious, but I never knew how much.” It is said that he had been off drugs for a number of months before his death, which is currently being reported as a suspected heroin overdose.
Speaking about Horsley, playwright Fountain said: “Sebastian in print and Sebastian in person were two very different people. The real man was one of the sweetest, kindest, funniest people I ever had the privilege of meeting. But as Sebastian himself always said, he was hard wired for extremes, and extreme ways of living bring with them great risks as well as rewards. I’m devastated.”
Soho theatre has confirmed that as a mark of respect, tonight’s performance of Dandy In The Underworld has been cancelled, adding: “Over the past six months whilst the play was being developed we all worked closely with Sebastian and struck up a deep affection for the man behind the public persona. It was a privilege to work with, and get to know this extraordinary man.”
Performances will continue tomorrow.