Theatre

Theatre preview: Making Porn at Above The Stag

The team at Above The Stag have build a reputation for their hilarious gay themed comedies and at the end of July they debut the sauciest one yet. Making Porn is a story set behind the cameras in the world of gay porn written by Ronnie Larsen. Dave Cross spoke to director Andrew Beckett about the trials and tribulations of directing half naked boys.

How would you describe Making Porn? 

Making Porn is a laugh out loud satire inspired by the early 80’s American adult film industry. It’s full of larger than life characters trying to make their way through the unpredictability of the world of porno. It’s a lot of fun and sometimes verges on ridiculousness, but has a sprinkling of heart and romance.

What’s the basic story and set up?

Jack Hawk, a straight, out-of-work actor, finally gets a break. He’s signed up to star in Cops, the latest skin-flick from gay porn director Arthur Mack. But as Jack’s efforts to hide his new career from his wife fail, and his twink co-star embarks on an affair with the director’s boyfriend, it’s anything but a smooth shoot. That’s as much as I can say right now, so as not to give away the twists and turns.

 

Can you talk us through the characters? 

This is a comedy with some big personalities. Jack Hawk is a struggling actor desperately trying to keep his venture into the gay porn industry a secret from his wife. His wife Linda, is made up that Jack has finally got a job and wants to help him rehearse. Making the movie is director Arthur Mack, who is still trying to make his big hit and will do almost anything to make it happen, followed around by his long suffering partner and assistant Jamie who’s looking for something more than a money shot. Throw in a hungry ambitious twink whose only goal is to make it in the porn industry no matter  what it takes and the seasoned porn star Ray Tanner whose only worry is getting paid this time and you’ve got an unlikely set of people to make a porn film.

Does this follow on from the other gay themed comedies that Above The Stag have done?  

The producer Peter Bull is a big fan of laugh out loud American comedy; and especially writer Ronnie Larsen’s style and work. I think this is the fourth Larsen Play that he has taken on. The quick wit and tight one-liners keep the pace of the show slick and exciting. Like with our previous Larsen outing Happy Ending you can expect twists and turns in this hilarious rollercoaster.

Can you tell us about the in-depth research you did into the porn industry? 

I once watched an American porno called Cowboys. Joking aside; the early 1980s was an unsettling time for the American porn industry, bootleg video tapes were causing big problems as people would rather grab an illegal copy of a movie rather than going to the cinema. It was also a time that sex became very unsafe for the actors and people’s lack of information and understanding of what was happening caused huge rifts between actors and studios.

And how is the experience of directing a play about porn?

We’ve got an amazing team on board for our latest Larsen comedy; with a few familiar faces from the Above the Stag alumni mixed in with some smashing new talent. I think it’ll be a fabulous show for all involved. There’s certainly a lot of laughter from the rehearsal room at the moment and hopefully the audience will have as much of a riot as we will.

Making Porn is at the Above The Stag Theatre from Wednesday 31 July at 72 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, SE1. Tickets from abovethestag.com

 

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