We are making a Facebook group for the event, our first potentially useful work as marketing directors. We are deciding on a picture and Polly is leering at photos of Claire. Because Polly was inappropriate and slimy at the shoot, Claire comprises most of the album, interspersed with a few inexplicable ‘struggle shots’ and some seedy lighting; Dan Draper (Lars Sorken) hardly features. I notice that Polly is still wearing Claire’s necklace, something that she offered to ‘look after’ whilst telling her to take her clothes off. Morally, yes, I am disgusted, but I am also amused.
Inviting friends to ‘”LARS SORKEN: A NORWEGIAN NOIR” IN 6TH WEEK’ is a platform for displays of popularity; when I ask friends to add more later, one says: ‘Please can we observe that I have contributed 59 out-of-college friends to this group.’
‘Is your name Rhys “Intercollegiate” Davies?’ I ask wittily.
The play is a detective drama with a male protagonist; the Facebook group has become a showcase for Claire. I am not sure I’m comfortable with our opening line (‘Want to see this hot babe in action?’); I feel a bit like we are prostituting her. When Matt makes an ‘executive decision’ to cut it I feel sleazy to the point of moral bankruptcy; this is only counter-balanced by my excellent pun (‘get your L-ARSes down to BT Studios’) and entertaining list of synonyms for ‘hot’. My shame turns to pride.
On Sunday we watch a rehearsal; it is snowy and Polly has Trench Foot, but she is excited for an hour of Claire. When she isn’t there she is distraught: ‘I can’t believe this. I really can’t believe this.’ She says. Luckily Claire has left a message for Polly with Alice, another member of the cast: ‘Claire wants her necklace back. Could you give it to me, please.’ When Polly removes it from her neck I detect a flicker of disgust. The rehearsal is very promising, but it reminds me that the cast have been working and I have not. Suddenly the play becomes a reality, something that is compounded by our production meeting. I realise that I have to stop distracting people and pressing ‘mark unread’ on my emails and do something. It is very carpe diem. At the meeting, though, I feel panicky and my heart is beginning to palpitate. I am dressed too sluttily for this level of formality so I am sweating under my coat. The production team from another play are there. ‘One of you has sold 8 tickets’, says the man from the BT. I see a glimmer of happiness cross Matt’s face.
‘That’s definitely us.’ Says the woman from the other play.
‘Put a Sorken it’, I think.