Friday, 19 October 2007

Where was I? (Men In Pants)

(originally posted on myspace here)

Where was I?
Well, a number of places obviously. It's been a while. It's been ages. Rewind to - um, Christ - October 1st: So I took that week off to Write (not this), but then following the giddy brain-wave on Mount Pleasant I don't know, I didn't get as much done as I wanted. Here:

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And then I was rehearsing Glen Neath's play "Superheroes" as part of the Shunt Lounge's first anniversary celebrations, for which Lizzie had constructed a small reptile house to stick in the ladies' toilets and Suze covered the lengths of the long corridor with projections of turning heads and Becky was translucently pregnant with live goldfish and Heather had done something very excellent with the broken chairs and some gravity in the bar:

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And rehearsing "Superheroes" was a mild confusion undertaken in excellent company. It was just never clear to me how much Glen's lines were really being helped by our rehearsing them if you see what I mean. My favourite Glen piece has always been "RomCom" in which two completely unrehearsed performers would simply repeat the lines being fed to them in their headphones. I've never seen that not work... Similarly in "Superheroes" four actors wearing masks and spandex and unfamiliar with their lines would be left in an arena to bellow some text scrolling erratically above the audience's heads. Easy. Fun. Except that by the end of the week, of course, we weren't unfamiliar with our lines at all... by the fourth and final night I was even beginning to make some sense of them. Which I felt a little uncomfortable about. But for those who missed it here's the synopsis:

I was Captain Mint. Captain Mint loves The Wisp. The Wisp is in a passive-aggressive relationship with abusive alpha The Vortex. Captain Mint fears the Vortex. The Storm is a hobbyist. The Vortex gives the Storm some ibuprofen to give to Captain Mint. The Wisp returns with some shopping and The Vortex gives The Storm a bottle of beaujolais. The Wisp walks out on The Vortex. The Storm gives Captain Mint the ibuprofen. Captain Mint no longer fears The Vortex. The Wisp returns to The Vortex. The ibuprofen is ineffectual. Captain Mint contents himself with being a hobbyist.

And there's just the two media ultimately, innit - Doing some stuff and Leaving stuff behind. The Shunt Lounge is the latter and "Superheroes" was the former and that brings us up to... what... a week ago? Monday?... when I found myself once again standing in my pants before strangers from all nations for money. It's called "Medical Modelling". Students of anaesthetics are handed jelly and ultra-sound doodads to prod in your ribs like a heretic's finger while you lie on a rug on a table in a third-storey Edwardian games room in Portland Place and crane round to see on the screen behind you something that's being pointed out to them as your liver. Easy. Painless.

The magazine rack that we'd stationed ourselves by beforehand was full of brochures advertising brightly-coloured plastic clamps, and things like this

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for which it seems quite clear to me that nobody has bothered to read the instructions.
Goodnight for now. I'm back. I'm sorry.

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