Thursday, 20 July 2017


"Okay, so this is the sign we're going to hold up," said the 15-year-old set artist, "during the sex scene. Obviously, we can't show them going to bed, because..."
"...because everyone's going to be underage?" I offered.
"Oh, yeah..." he said, as if he hadn't considered that possibility. "We're going to show a kiss - a real one - and then hold this sign in front of the actors."

He held up a piece of sugar paper on which he'd written "CENSORED" in huge letters, covered in smiling hearts and with a loading bar at the bottom captioned BABY LOADING: 30%. Once I got over the impact of the thing, it was genuinely amusing.

"All right, show me what you've got."

Two 16-year-old actors took their place on stage while the Joker and Harley Quinn watched from the wings. Strange times indeed.

"Maybe one of you should put your feet up on another chair?" I proferred. "Look more relaxed, since you're waiting for your lover to come in."

The girl playing the sexy temptress attempted to do so and immediately looked like she was in a lot of pain. I dithered for a while, wondering whether to call someone from the medical team, when one of the writers - a queer femme visionary with the "Coexist" tattoo and a penchant for attacking people with felt tips - walked on and casually adjusted her legs.

"That's much better," she said. "Thank you."
"No problem," said the writer. And took a bow as the other actor walked back on and nearly collided with her.

I have no idea whose pocket the condom fell out of, but everyone looked at me with barely-disguised horror.

"No, no, it's fine," I said coolly, as somebody opened their mouth to probably give some sort of explanation. (It's only right to take condoms with you when travelling, anyway.) "It's always good to be prepared. Better put that back into your pocket, though, before the director comes along."

"What's this?" said the director, coming along.
"Rehearsal," I shrugged, truthfully.
"Can I see it?"

There was a very long pause during which everyone on stage - actors, writers, co-directors, set designers and the one girl who didn't appear to have any set role - looked at me.

"...No," I answered.

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