Me and My Fake Girlfriend Discuss Favourites

‘You just liked the girl in it,’ being fictional Annabel is insecure about other women.

‘No I didn’t,’ I, being realistic,… ‘Know that when an actor winks and smiles at me she could very well be doing as such to an empty chair.’

‘You fancied her.’

‘I liked the show. It was very creative.’

‘So was The 39 Steps.’

‘Not really.’

‘No? That show, Porcelain Punch, was like they were making it up as they went along. That’s not creative.’

‘Scripts are very hard to remember.’

‘It was semi-circus freaks stitched together by a Medicine Show premise. Friends smoking bongs could think of that. At least 39 Steps had a story.’

‘I wouldn’t say that.’

‘What was Porcelain Punch about then?’

‘It was about Porcelain Punch. As near as I can read into it, that’s a drink that makes you hug the toilet valiantly disguised as a medical cure-all.’

‘I think you read too much into things.’

‘Do I? Then what about The 39 Steps? There wasn’t any steps. Not even one.’

‘There was a ladder.’

‘What’s the significance of the 39 steps, hmm? You tell me.’

‘It’s just the name of something in the show. You don’t have to be so literal.’

‘I wasn’t.’

‘The 39 Steps was funny….’

‘In a 1930s way.’

‘…and!, it was a mystery. A murder mystery.’

‘Ok. Conflict gives the story interest.’

‘And there wasn’t any conflict in Porcelain Punch.’

‘It wasn’t meant to have any. It was engaging, humorous and intimate.’

‘You wish it was intimate,’ Annabel crossed her arms.

‘Don’t go back to that.’

‘You couldn’t help,’ she strained on the word help, ‘But make eye contact.’

‘That’s the smaller stage. The crowd is almost in the performance.’

‘It’s bound to have that advantage. 39 Steps had to appeal to a large room.’

‘That might be it’s problem.’


‘Ok, it was a film first. It was a stage adaptation of a famous film.’

‘Which you hadn’t seen.’

‘Correct, and by some weird stretch you had, but that’s my point. Most of the audience had seen it and knew it. Some of the jokes and scenes I didn’t get. Despite this, it was a safe production. People knew it. They laughed because they knew the original and liked the spin on the original. That doesn’t make it creative.’

‘Porcelain Punch was burlesque and side-show acts. That doesn’t make it better.’

‘It makes it rarer.’

‘You think because it is small, rarely seen and… intimate, it’s a good thing. You’d know about that.’

I paused, then I gave into the obvious. ‘You prefer a bigger, longer production do you?’

‘Smut,’ she said.

‘Ok, look. Rule one, give the people what they want. What they want is comfort. That might mean taking a spin or alternative view on a known topic, but the topic is known. With Porcelain the content might be old, but the presentation was all new. It made it different. I suppose that makes them the reverse of each other.’

‘Neither was an original premise. Only creative in the assembly.’

‘Yes. They say there are no new stories, only new voices.’

‘That sounds pessimistic. Who said that?’

‘Someone unoriginal. Probably a writing teacher. Anyway we can still be entertained: like they also say, if I haven’t seen it, it’s new to me. Bring on 2014.’


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