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									       Pull up to the
       bumper baby
                        New site specific play Dogging debuts
                        with the first of three shows at the
                        RVT next Thursday, so Luke Till spoke
                        to writer Tony Higgins about the ins
                        and outs of this dark farce.

     Why did you decide to write Dogging?
     I thought it was a ripe subject that
                                                  than that if they’re standing. I think if
                                                  we were to go over that we’d start to              Rockin’ around the
     hasn’t really been talked about much.
     There was a film that came out this year
     called Dogging: A Love Story, which I
                                                  lose that high level of comedy.
                                                  Does the show go on if it rains?
                                                  We’re sorting out a gazebo so the show
                                                                                                      Christmas tree
     haven’t actually seen, which I think was     should go on providing the weather
     a rom-com. But my idea was to look           isn’t extremely bad. We’re suggest-
     at the grotesque. Traditional farces are     ing people bring brollies and wrap              The first showing of A FESTIVE HAPPENING
     often based on misunderstandings and         up warm. There’s always the risk of a
     sexual activity. When farce was ripe in      big thunder storm and obviously we               takes place at the RVT this Wednesday – an
     the 70s there was a lot of innuendo as       wouldn’t do a performance then, but
     nothing could be said, whereas now           you’ve got to take risks and we wanted
                                                                                                 evening of song and spoken word from four of
     we’re a lot more open and there’s a lot      to do something different and fresh that        the leading purveyors of London’s alternative
     more comedy that pushes bounda-              hasn’t been done before.
     ries, and that’s what I wanted to do. I      Why did you choose the RVT?                   cabaret scene. Luke Till asked Scottee, Georgeois
     thought dogging was the right subject        We needed a location that was central,           Bourgeois and Maurice Maurice (but minus
     and I could mix a League of Gentlemen        close to a tube, which wouldn’t have a
     vibe with the old Carry On style.            problem with the subject matter and                  Jonny Woo) what they have in store.
     Did you intentionally not see that film?     had an excellent reputation for comedy.
     Yeah, I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t      The RVT’s pretty much the only venue          Who suggested you all team up in a            dinner at McDonald’s.
                                                                                                band for A Festive Happening?                 MM: Confession and mulled wine, in
         ‘It starts with a woman licking cum off of a bonnet,                                   GB: I think it might have been
                                                                                                Scottee. To be honest I don’t remember
                                                                                                                                              either order.
                                                                                                                                              S: I’ll be eating. That’s all – nothing
        so people have got to be prepared for stuff like that.’                                 it ever happening. We were definitely         more, nothing less.
                                                                                                drunk and it was definitely after a           Do you all like Christmas?
     realise it existed until I started writing   we could have done it with. It’s really       gig somewhere.                                S: Oh I do, I’m such a child when it
     my own stuff. I read a few articles          theatre to make people laugh. I think         MM: It was indeed Scottee! He                 comes to the festive time of year.
     about what people thought about it and       it’s very different to anything that’s out    suggested it after he and Jonny did an        MM: I can safely say that we both do.
     realised that they were obviously trying     there. And it’s only for people who are       experimental night at Bistrotheque. I         When else are you justified in drinking
     to do something completely different to      18 and above because of the subject.          thought it was a great idea, but then         champagne at 10am?
     me. Farce is what interested me. I think     Is it explicit?                               forgot about it.                              How would you describe the others in
     farce is often given a bad name.             Well, it starts with a woman licking cum      So, was it you Scottee?                       the band?
     Did you go dogging to research?              off of a bonnet, so people have got to be     S: It was I…I confess, I was drunk, but       S: I’d say that Woo is the mother,
     I did actually go with a friend of mine      prepared for stuff like that. It’s good old   I do absolutely adore Woo and                 Bourgeois is a bit like having
     but it was a bit scary because there was     dirty laughs – a bit Little Britain-esque     Bourgeois and Maurice, both personally        a weird goth brother and Maurice is
     a group of youths there, revving their       in the way it pushes boundaries.              and creatively.                               like the older lesbo sister.
     engines. Dogging grounds attract a lot       How do you think the reaction will be?        What will you be singing about?               What’s been the shittest present you’ve
     of crime so they’re not always the safest    I’m hoping it’s going to be very good.        S: The Queen, office parties, getting         ever received over Christmas?
     places. A lot of my research was on the      There are elements of Family Guy’s            drunk, watching rubbish telly, Oxford         GB: I once gave my grandmother a gift
     internet, learning about the codes they      humour where people don’t know                Street nightmares… oh yeah, and that          wrapped bag of potato peelings, so I
     use and the types of relationships out       whether they should laugh or cringe of        baby it was all started for.                  can’t really judge what others give me.
     there. But I’m not going for the realistic   feel bad about laughing, which I really       GB: It’ll be a musical avalanche of new       What about your best present?
     ‘this is what a dogging ground would be      like as a writer.                             co-written songs, some old British            S: This year I got a present early. Her
     like’ scenario.                                                                            Empire-style carols, acid-trip karaoke,       name is Beryl and she’s my scarlet
     Dogging’s illegal, isn’t it?                                                               and a track we’ve done with Woo called        1960s lady’s bike. My boyfriend is fully
     I think public sex is illegal full                                                         ‘Don’t Google Me Mother’. One of the          aware that I’m an old lady at heart.
     stop, but police generally turn a                                                          new songs is called ‘Santa is a Terror-       And finally, what are your plans for
     blind eye like they do with cruis-                                                         ist’, so that gives you an idea of the sort   next year?
     ing grounds. I think you could                                                             of angle the show’s taking.                   S: Well, the Tenor Ladies have a four-
     be arrested, but it’s just one                                                             And give us an overview of the                week run at the RVT and my show
     of those areas of the law that                                                             entire evening.                               Mess will go on tour.
     seems too much trouble for the                                                             S: It’s a bit like a bizarre trip round       GB: Every year I pledge to stop say-
     police to bother with.                                                                     the neighbour’s for a cheeky eggnog,          ing things I don’t mean, but now it’s
     Are the audience going to stand?                                                           only to find out they’re swingers.            become my career I think that would
     Yeah, it’s an hour and 15 min-                                                             What are your plans for Christmas Day?        be foolish.
     utes long and you can’t really                                                             GB: A trip to the London Eye and maybe        MM: I’d like a solo career.
     push an audience any longer
                                                                                                        • A Festive Happening takes place this Wednesday (2 Dec), next
      • Dogging will be performed next Thursday 3 and Friday 4                                          Thursday (3 Dec) and next Friday (4 Dec) from 8pm (show
      December from 7.30pm, and on Saturday 5 December from 7pm,                                        from 9pm) at the RVT, 372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11.
      at the RVT, 372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11.                                                  • Tickets are £10 from www.ticketweb.co.uk and www.last-
      • Tickets are £11 (£9 concession) from www.ticketweb.co.uk.                                       minute.com.

42     thursday 26 november 2009

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