I had a whim to read a Ben Elton play having briefly heard him on the radio shortly before the last play reading.
For those of you not familiar with the name Ben Elton, he is an English comedian, author, playwright, actor and director. He was a part of London's alternative comedy movement of the 1980s and became a writer on series such as The Young Ones and Blackadder, as well as continuing as a stand-up comedian on stage and television. His style in the 1980s was left-wing political satire. Since then he has published 15 novels and written the musicals We Will Rock You (2002) and Love Never Dies (2010), the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera.
Having enjoyed his comedy when I was younger; read some of his books; seen one of his plays and loving We Will Rock You I thought this a good idea! However, I am just slightly disappointed that my choice has been narrowed down to a play I've already seen twice!
My options were:
Gasping: A play about yuppiedom and corporate greed, but to my mind rather OTT
Silly Cow: A satire on today's world that bored me with its language and drugs ...
Popcorn: A thriller based on films such as Natural Born Killers and the films of Quentin Tarrantino.
So Popcorn it is, and you are warned to expect some bad language and violence ... I did enjoy this play in performance, so I do hope that it comes across reasonably well in a reading. It has credentials, having won the Golden Dagger in 1996 (crime writers award).
The characters are:
- Bruce Delamitri – the main protagonist, an egocentric filmmaker who has become controversial for the celluloid violence he produces.
- Wayne – A cruel and immoral killer.
- Scout – Wayne's lover and confidant.
- Brooke Daniels – A vaguely abnormal model and aspiring actress.
- Velvet Delamitri – Bruce's estranged daughter.
- Farrah Delamitri – Bruce's estranged wife.
- Karl Brezner – Bruce's producer.
The notes on the play draw attention to the following references, which I suspect I needn't share, but will, just in case:
Oprah = Oprah Winfrey, American agony aunt and chat show host
OJ = O J Simpson, American star acquitted of the murder of his wife