When Kate Macdonald asked me if she could be The Lady in the Radiator from the cult David Lynch film Eraserhead I thought blimey that’s a bit out there but what the hell let’s give it a whirl.
Kate explained that she had scene the film whilst a living in a flat which resembled the kitchen in Withnail and she was about 18 the first time she watched it and under the influence of various things and remembers the jacket potato she was trying to eat resembled the baby in the film. She was determined to watch it when ‘straight’ but said it was still as weird! The meaning attributed to the mysterious Lady in the Radiator (Laurel Near) was that she represents the Grim Reaper and sings to Henry an eerie song of heaven and of how “everything is fine” there. It can be stated that the radiator itself is representative of Henry’s thoughts of self-destruction and that he sees death as a source of freedom from his living Hell.
This view seems to be confirmed at the film’s shocking climax when Henry kills his baby in act of release and mercy. He is then met by the Lady in the Radiator in a brilliant flash of light and dies in her arms. In this act, Henry has finally embraced Death and accepted it into his life, giving him admittance to his own personal heaven and freedom.
Many thanks to Paul Jackson at the Adelphi for letting us use the stage there for the shoot.