Tuesday, January 10, 2006


The biggest problem with amateur dramatics

Last week a more-than-usually wasted Brewski suggested that amateur dramatics companies were little more than seething cesspits of adulterous carnality, veritable modern-day Sodoms and Gomorrahs. That’s not my experience at all. To protect the identities of my fellow members, I’d better use a pseudonym for the group I belong to – let’s call it something like, oh, I don’t know, the Chipping-under-Norton Thespian Society.

The CUNTS has its fair share of the usual annoyances you find with this sort of endeavour, but rampant rogering is not one of them. The rehearsals are in a draughty town hall which gets hellishly cold of a winter’s evening. There’s a bit of bitchiness and backbiting, though not too much. The women mostly look like the back end of a bus, or are over 70, or both, and the few 20-year-olds who appear from time to time are just passing through. And, of course, there’s a resident prima donna, in this case a man, who throws shrieking tantrums when he doesn’t get his way but whom we have to treat nicely because he’s far and away the best actor in the society and if he left, CUNTS would be fucked.

None of that really bothers me, however. The worst thing about amateur dramatics is the audience. They’re old, and I mean really old, on average, because our group has been going for 90 years and many of them have been coming since they were babies. I suppose I should be grateful for their support, but it means that we can’t put on really deviant plays with lots of swearing and shagging. Plus, they’re deaf, and start muttering during quiet bits even when you’ve whispered a line at the top of your voice. They seldom laugh at the really funny lines which have been rehearsed over and over again, night after night, the ungrateful sods. You’d think that forking out a measly six quid to come and support a community activity like the CUNTS would lower expectations and that they’d realise they weren’t going to see Ian McKellen doing King Lear, but oh no, they purse their lips primly whenever a line is fluffed or someone trips over a bit of loose carpeting the fucking stage manager hasn’t bothered to tack down properly.

A couple of shows ago I was operating the sound and lighting console at the back of the hall and had a chance to watch the audience on all three nights of the performance. One old git was nodding off in the second row and his wife had to keep elbowing him in the kidneys. A couple of fucking teenagers were having mobile phone conversations, for Christ sakes. I mean, what were the little bastards doing there anyway? They should have been off drinking meths and spreading the pox among themselves like normal kids. One woman ate her way through a three-foot long baguette all through the first act, feeding it into her fat grotesque face as if she were passing a stool in reverse and at the wrong end. My thoughts turned to a beautiful picture I have in a book of a Heckler & Koch SG1, one of the best sniper’s rifles in the world.

'Chipping-under-Norton' sounds suspiciously like a locale I grew up very near to. I have always associated amateur theater with eroticism, since my secondary school days and me and girls getting busy backstage. Wickedy-wick.
I have a question, how long must a body be submerged in water before de-gloving occurs?
Seven to 10 days usually, depending on the salinity and temperature of the water. Not planning anything untoward, are you, FatMammyCat?
The worst experiences I had in amateur theatre were school field trip days, when the entire audience would be composed of grammar school kids... and their teachers always choose Shakespeare shows to attend... so you're onstage, monologuing the fuck out of the Queen Maab speech and some eight year old twit yaks on the kid next to him and the whole audience is in uproar... Now I think on it, I kind of miss those amateur theatre days...
I assume 'yak' is American for 'vomit', is it, LindyK? No, can't say that's ever happened here to my knowledge, though we did have one audience member suffer a stroke once, which was most inconsiderate of her.
There is a famous little theatre at a place called 'Chipping Norton' (no 'under'). I once got dragged along there to see pro-theatre (as opposed to Am-Dram), but it was still largely a load of bollocks. Don't get me wrong, I love theatre but sometimes the pros can be just as wanky as the ams.
I don't understand how you get from
Chipping-under-Norton Thespian Society.
to C.U.N.T.S.

Sorry, Doc, it should be C-u-NTS. Christ, and I thought I was a pedant.
Thank you Mister footeater, and one more, it you will, assuming the water is extremely cold, will that affect the build up of gasses and the general decomposition? And would it be almost impossible to determine cause of death-say if it was strangulation and/or smothering- if the body had decomposed enough, taking into account soft tissue damage and the destruction of the epidermis and dermis? I realise the the blood vessels in the eyes are a bit of a give away, but surely they would be destroyed after ten days or so submerged?
Decomposition is more delayed the colder the water. Soft tissue decomposition will obscure the cause of death to some extent, but strangulation often causes damage to the deeper neck structures such as the thyroid cartilage and hyoid bone, so a forensic pathologist can sometimes still tell. Smothering's harder to determine.

Mind if I ask you a question now, FMC? Why???
Oh no reason, thank you. I thought smothering might be a better way to go about it.I might hit you for more info over the coming weeks, alway good to have someone in the know. Thanks again.
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