This film is part of Rentals

Andy the Furniture Maker

How did a cute, gay Essex boy go from oyster fishing to becoming the toast of the London arts scene?

1986 53 mins

Director: Paul Oremland


Andy, a laddish Essex boy with a knack for creating gorgeous furniture from found wood, has had a life packed with excitement. He tells a string of riveting anecdotes with his trademark cocky swagger in this fondly remembered documentary. From his work as a rent boy to a spell stealing cars to his discovery by filmmaker Derek Jarman, Andy makes for a hilariously blunt and bawdy raconteur.

Andy the Furniture Maker remains the best known episode of Six of Hearts, an LGBT-themed series of documentaries made for Channel 4. It’s an invigorating glimpse of the 1980s gay scene, with visits to long-extinct Earl’s Court gay bars and rare on-screen appearances by stars of the 80s queer counterculture. Valuable commentary is provided by Jarman, production designer Christopher Hobbs and Royal Academy curator Norman Rosenthal, but Andy is undoubtedly the star of the show, cutting an iconic dash as he forages for arts materials in London wastelands or spins his latest outrageous story.