The Best Pub in London by Noel Anderson

‘Good people drink good beer’

There are some things we’ve done away with that won’t ever come back, that’s good to let go of… like having to hand wash your clothes, like we did before washing machines were invented. Then there are things we’ve forgotten we need, like human connection beyond our iPhone and our laptops. A conundrum of modern life in most large cities. Recently on a trip to old London Town I was reminded of this. In a world gone mad with the possibility to connect or reconnect with more people than ever before, we appear to be isolating ourselves, going in reverse-cycle. Can we tune into each other again and put our iPhone away?

I’m in a pub in Holborn in central London on a warm night, and believe it or not there is no music playing inside the bar. The punters, mixed in age, are being forced to communicate in a music free venue. The pub is busy, everyone is talking, no one is yelling over loud ‘thump-thump’ music pumped out of cheap sound systems, like you’d find on a stroll down Chapel Street in Melbourne on any given night. At first, to be honest, I didn’t notice the lack of music, I just order a pure brewed organic lager, as you do, and found comfortable a seat. But, gradually as I sipped my beer, my mind started to search around for sound and the thump-thump-thump. But, there was none.

“I come here all the time,” a woman in her 40’s propped up at the bar told me. “I love it. This is one of the best pubs in London. Honest!”

“But, there’s no music being played. Is that normal?” I ask.

“That’s right. No they don’t play it at all. You can go to any of their pubs, they’re all over London you know, and there’s no music in any of them. They’re all like this. Everyone’s chattin’. I luv’em. Look around,” she smiled and finished drinking her fruit lager.

‘There’s no music playing’

A pub with no music, who thought of that? I ordered another pure organic pint and snuggled up close to the bar. It did indeed appear to be working, everyone was talking, even me, a total stranger in town, talking to the people around me in the pub. “I am just going to take some photos, if you don’t mind,” I tell the barman who is wearing a T-shirt stating ‘good people drink good beer’.

“Are you a famous writer or something?” he asked.

“No I’m just one of those annoying people who just keep at it, because I can’t think of anything else to do,” and I pull out my iPhone.

“Here, take one of me. Go on then.” He stands close to the bar pretending to pour a brewed beer and smiles. I snap a picture. Too easy. I look around the ornate pub and think, ‘this is probably the best pub in the West End… or the world. Lucky me’.

“It’s good here ain’t it” a young bloke across from me calls out, slightly pissed. “I just popped in for a few on’me way home. I live with’me sister, she’s cooked dinner. I best go after this one.”

“I’m from Australia” I announce unexpectedly.

“I can tell. How long are you here for?” he asked, sipping his organic pint of pure beer.

“Three weeks. I use to live here. A long time ago. I’ve a few days in Paris this weekend, then back to London. Just here on hols”

“What’s that?” he asked.

“Hols. Short for holiday. Australians shorten everything, all of us do,” I smile.

As I drank, I chatted. I chatted with the barman, then the barmaid. We talked about Europe and organic beer, naturally. I finished my pint and I left. In the two hours I sat in the pub, I can’t recall anyone taking out their phone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they did, but I didn’t notice because I was too busy talking absolute rubbish to total strangers. Just passing the time of day or what we use to call, shooting the breeze.

I walked back to the hotel and started to sing Slim Dusty’s classic Aussie song A Pub With No Beer.

It’s lonesome away, from your kindred and all

By the campfire at night, where the wild dingoes call

But there’s nothing so lonesome, so morbid or drear

Than to stand in a bar, of a pub with no beer

I took the lift to the 7th floor, brushed my teeth, stripped naked and tucked myself into bed. Somewhere in the distance, I could hear tomorrow calling me. I turned over, pulling the sheet up over my head. I must wash my clothes first thing in the morning before I head to Paris for the weekend, I thought. Then, I gently sang myself to sleep.

About the author – Noel Anderson has worked in film and theatre and is featured in Breaking the Code a two day symposium for writers/authors, 6-7th Oct 2018. Noel is currently adapting his play Sammy & Dave into a film, about two bisexual-married men who rendezvous for a one night stand. Based on a true story.

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Erotic Fiction 😎 by Noel Anderson

‘Lovers, forgive my intrusion at such an hour but I’m terribly over excited’

Is that a gun in your pocket?

My story starts here. Recently I ran a writer’s workshop with the Melbourne Writer’s Social Group looking at the success of erotic literature over decades. I didn’t know it at first, but as the workshop approached I realised I had my fair share of erotic knowledge to share. I was reminded on the day of the need to be fearless in a creative sense, and push boundaries, to challenge yourself.  However, I was surprised by the lack of support from women (only two women attended) as according to all statistics, women consume erotica at about the same rate as men. As I glanced around the room of mostly men, I wondered if a woman was presenting ‘erotic literature’ instead of a male, would men have stayed away? I guess I’ll never know. What was clear though, was the wealth of experience and imagination that could be poured into erotic stories. The stories read out loud by the men on the day were varied and original. They mostly teased more than sexually aroused, but behind each story was a personal honesty, a lot of humour and a little sadness. You could hear their heart beating under the fantasies as they read. I believe it’s a good thing for writers to purge their sexual dreams and heartache.

‘Darling, have you no modesty, do up a button…thank you, I was over heating at the sight of your exposed…elbow’

One writer on social media a few days before the workshop argued that ‘he didn’t need to know anything about the art of writing erotic fiction’. Fair enough, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But, I argued, no matter what you write at some point you are probably going to have to write a love/sex scene in some form, surely you want that ‘love scene’ to arouse interest?

WHAT IS EROTIC LITERATURE? Erotic literature comprises fictional and factual stories of human sexual relationships, generally with the intention to arouse the reader sexually. A common element is satire and social criticism, and sexual fantasy.

It seems that over the years every author has had a go at writing erotic fiction, probably for the money. Some famous authors include Anne Summer ‘The Joy of Sex’, Ann Rice ‘ The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty’, DH Lawrence ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, Mark Twain ‘1601’ and Vladimir Nabokov ‘Lolita.’ Even Dracula by Bram Stoker was considered saucy in its day. I urge you to open it up at any page and read, you’ll be titillated for sure. A surprising addition to the long list of erotic writers is Felix Salten.

In 1906, an erotic memoir was privately published. Purportedly written by a Viennese prostitute at the end of her life, Josefine Mutzenbacher, oder Die Geschichte einer Wienerischen Dirne, it became a popular success; its now a very rare book, a first edition copy recently selling for over $6,000. The introduction to the original is signed by “the editor.” The “editor” was, in fact, the anonymous author. That author has been firmly identified as Felix Salten (pseud. of Siegmund Saltzmann), whose claim to fame is as the author of Bambi, Eine. You can bet Walt Disney had no idea of Salten’s erotic past when he turned Bambi into a family friendly motion picture.

So, what’s the difference between erotica and pornography? The best answer I found was in the Guardian. I quote – The difference between erotica and pornography is erotic is using a feather, and pornography is using the whole damn chicken.

So, why have so many good writers dabbled in writing erotica? The answer I think is as simple as this, there is real money to be made in writing erotic fiction…so lets look at the recent/most-famous erotic book, 50 Shades of Grey by British author E L James.

FACTS ABOUT 50 SHADES OF GREY –  Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic romance novel.  It is the first installment in a trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving S & M. It  was originally self published as an eBook and ‘print on demand’ rights by Vintage Books in March 2012. Fifty Shades of Grey has topped best-seller lists around the world, selling over 125 million copies worldwide by June 2015. It has been translated into 52 languages, and set a record in the United Kingdom as the fastest-selling paperback of all time. Critical reception of the book, however, has tended towards the negative, with the quality of its prose generally seen as poor.

Erotic Fiction by Noel Anderson

What do you think about censorship?

CENSORSHIP – Of course you can’t talk about writing erotic fiction without talking about censorship. In March 2012, branches of the public library in Brevard County, Florida removed copies of Fifty Shades of Grey from their shelves, with an official stating that it did not meet the selection criteria for the library and that reviews for the book had been poor. A representative for the library stated that it was due to the book’s sexual content.

One thing clear in the workshop of mostly men, was everyone had their own idea of censorship. Believe it or not, their were arguments put forward by some of the men for censorship, of certain things. One subject matter that definitely was a no go zone for writers was child erotica in any form. Even the classic book Lolita came under fire by some members of the group, so it appears that ‘erotica must come with good morals’ to be enjoyed by masses.

More facts about 50 Shades of Grey –  1. It’s classified as Mummy porn 2. The author is married with two kids to a screenwriter 3. E.L James described the books as her midlife crisis (who hasn’t had one) 4. It is the fastest selling book of all time beating the J.K. Rowling Harry Potter series 5. The books are popular with teenage girls 6. The Independent reported a 15 % increase in whips. A 60 % increase in blindfolds and a 200% increase in jiggle balls (don’t know what they are? Then, shop online😊)

About the author – Noel Anderson is featured in Breaking the Code in Oct 2018, and is currently adapting his play Sammy & Dave into a film, about two bisexual-married men who rendezvous for a one night stand. Based on a true story. View the promo trailer on FB.

Sammy and Dave on Facebook

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Make An Independent Feature Film

Welcome to make an independent feature film. If you are reading this I’m guessing you like movies or maybe you’d like to be involved in Aussie filmmaking, or you’re a professional who has checked in to check us out. No worries, it’s all good. Welcome to the Rendezvous Hotel 😜 Remember Hollywood wasn’t built in a day. Lets check-in.

This could be your lucky break

So, you’d like to make an independent movie? Get involved? Then how about this? Sammy and Dave is a one night stand love story about two bisexual men, unhappy with their married lives, who meet by accident late at night in a city hotel room, the Rendezvous Hotel. They laugh, they cry, they have sex and recall the moments, good and bad, that have lead them to the hotel bed.

History is important!

INFO – The history of the original story. Sammy and Dave – Unlucky in Love is based on a real life incident and a successful R rated play of the same name by Noel Anderson. It played to capacity crowds upstairs at the rough Sandringham (Sando) Hotel in 90’s.
I remember the actors struggling to be heard over heavy metal bands in the band room down below us” writer/director Noel Anderson recalls. “We performed it in the inner Sydney suburb of Newtown…people really got into the intimate story and the crazy atmosphere of the dodgy old pub…I mean who would set a bisexual fantasy in a setting like that?

There were rough-nuts throwing back beers downstairs…while upstairs we had the queer community, the raincoat brigade, liberal minded straights and bi-curious sipping champers. The crowd loved the romance, comedy and sex. Eventually Sammy and Dave was picked up by Griffin Theatre Company, and went respectable. The play transferred to the trendy Stables Theatre in Kings Cross where it ran late nights with full houses.”

1994 and Sammy and Dave’s success!

Sammy and Dave is set in 1994. The story came at a time when the world was dominated by plays, TV shows and films about AIDS. Everyone in queer community knew someone who had died, friends, fathers and lovers. Sammy and Dave’s one night romantic fling proved a welcome relief for the late night theatre crowd and gay community, who lapped up the sexual fantasy, while questionng the true meaning of love and lust.

‘MEETUP and fellow Melbourne creatives slide into bed with Sammy and Dave ‘

Noel Anderson has taken an usual approach of launching the film to the indie film community on the social media platform  Melbourne Meetup .  He plans to keep running the group as a hub for indie artists to connect and create together. “If you have skill that can be used on a film set or in a film crew, from makeup to cameraman, admin to editor, whatever really, costumes or set, then I’d see you at one of the make-an -indie-film-Meetup’s. Together let’s create and stronger film community in Melbourne and go make an Aussie Independent feature films.”

Why Sammy and Dave? 😀

Sammy and Dave is a good subject for a film, due to limited locations, in fact I want to build a set, the hotel room. Utilise my theatre background”

“I was inspired by the style of Francis Ford Coppola’s One From The Heart, and also two Alfred Hitchcock movies based on stage plays, Rope and Dial M For Murder. I love Hitchcock, but no one dies in Sammy and Dave, and the suspense comes from ‘will they or will won’t they have great sex?.’ I want to roll back the clock, to a different Australia, a different scene, straight …and gay. I think film audiences will fall in love with Sammy and Dave, as much as the theatre audiences did in the early 90’s”

You can contact Noel Anderson on Facebook or join up on Melbourne Meetup (link above)

Well, maybe I sound pessimistic, but let’s face the facts, falling in love can be a bitch.” – Dave an Australian married businessman.

Checkout Sammy and Dave Trailer

Set Fire To Your Birthday

Birthdays are only as good as the last Adele song you’ve listened to recently. Eating crispy skin chicken with vegetables (perfect ketones dinner) a week before I declare my last year over and done with, I ponder my journey from my home town to now over a Sav Blanc, served in a cheap glass at the China Bar on Brunswick street, comforted by the fact that the chicken is bloody tasty.

The last decade has gone fast, just like a good pop song I decide, over in 3 minutes.  Adele’s voice on radio fills the Chinese kitchen, smoke billowing towards the ceiling, spilling into the restaurant. If this is to be, I think to myself, my last birthday before I set fire to it, would I be happy with the songs I’ve sung? Would I be satisfied with those I have loved ? And the art I’ve left behind? No I would not be happy, or fulfilled I believe, tugging the crispy skin clean off the chicken leg with my teeth just as Adele finishes Rolling in the Deep. This realisation of my scars draws my attention to two young hipsters seated on the table beside me, the boy wearing a Nervo T-Shirt and the girl wearing a flowered jacket. Seated together in total silence, they finish off a large plate of sizzling beef just as the waitress snatches my bones away…chicken bones that is, removing my plate from the table.

As I leave, pulling my hoodie over my head, I notice all the people in the restaurant on Friday at 9.30pm are… coupled. I am the only one alone? How’d that happen? But, is this what I want? Silence over sizzling beef, coupledom over cheap Chinese chop sticks? Is this what I dream of? Nervo, flower power jackets served up on a hot bed of white boiled rice? I decide there and then it’s too early in night to answer my eternal questioning, so I cowardly push all thoughts aside. I pay my bill and I leave, thankful for the cheap wine, Adele songs, tasty meal and full tummy.

‘Baby don’t let the lights go out’

Outside in the fresh winter air, I walk by crowded music joints, nightclubs, and more young hipsters. I examine my fading smile, reflected back at me in a book shop window, I could have had it all, I think? Looking up I notice the street peppered with large black and white posters that announce with drum roll – ‘You Are All The Same.’

Am I the same as everyone else? Are we all the same as each other?

I pray this is not true and turn the corner, making my way to a drag club on Johnston Street just as it starts to rain. Inside I order a skinny bitch in a short glass and sit watching the 10.30pm show. ‘It’s a week before your next birthday’ pops-up in my head, much like a TV news flash or a storm warning. Hurricane Andy! Who stole my time? Where’s it gone? It won’t be coming back anytime soon I conclude and quickly down my drink and order another. Hurricane Skinny Bitch!

My thoughts are interrupted by someone who knows me, a crew member who worked on a play I wrote and directed for Midsumma called ‘Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes of Fame’ back in 2013.

Hello. It’s me?” I didn’t recognise her, she’d changed.

Noel? Is that you?” she asked, her voice breaking my constant internal dialogue. “How are you?”

Is it me? I must wake up.

“How is your mother?” I ask her.

I am the sum of the songs I’ve sung, parts I’ve played. The damage I’ve caused.

“Mum is well” she answered, adjusting her blonde hair.

I am my losses. My loves. My doubts. My past, not perfect. But, it’s mine? I am not the same. Let it burn I think.

Back to reality, I chatted for a bit to my friend, watched the next show, downed my final skinny bitch and left the club, comfortable in my hoodie and the damp cold air.

As birthdays go, I’m not sure yet if this next one will be memorable but it is a good time to put the house in order I realise, rearrange old values, toss out those old clothes and set fresh challenges.

As I pass Naked for Satan I hear Adele singing somewhere in the distance, her English accent reminding me of when I was young. Album 19, 21, 25 … then, 27, 32, 42, 47, the years I recall as memorable… to me. Turning points, turning tables, songs and albums, tracks of unequalled pain and bittersweet romance. Somewhere, someday, I know there will be a new fire starting in my heart. I have at least one album left inside of me, I think, maybe two?…I am not counting.

Adele singing Skyfall fades away as I turn into Smith Street, make my way along the road, chasing pavements. I button up my jacket and I disappear under the glow of the street lights, neon signs and boutique beer. Nothing matters, old friends and rumours lost in the dance of life, memories like lovers, ‘water under the bridge.’

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Noel has directed over 50 theatrical productions and worked in film and TV. He completed NIDA’s Playwright Studio in 1996. Noel’s written work includes the play Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame and the musical Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets. Learn more: Noel Anderson Website

T-H-R-I-L-L-E-R-S I Love by Noel Anderson

‘You don’t know, when will you know? When we are all dead’ – The Birds

Thrillers I Love by Noel Anderson

I’m 15 and at the the St James cinema in Beverly Hills with a mate from school. We shuffle down the line, grab a movie ticket, a choctop and an orange cordial drink from the candy bar, we feel like we’re in heaven. We feel this way because the cinema is screening a couple of thrillers, a Sunday arvo double feature. The movies are The Birds and Psycho starring Anthony Perkins.

‘We all go a little mad sometimes’ – Norman Bates

I hand our tickets to to the usher, pick a seat and wait for the picture to start. The Birds is up first. I chomp into my choctop just as Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) enters the pet store looking for a pair love birds, where she encounters handsome Mitch Brenner, played by fellow Aussie Rod Taylor. That screening introduced me to my first real idol, Alfred Hitchcock. Back then I was a pimply-talkative kid with a vivid imagination, not much has changed. I miss those days, those unforgettable screen characters from my youth. When I think of them now, they feel like distant friends or relatives.  I thought it might be fun to reminisce a little, using the letters T-H-R-I-L-L-E-R -S as a trigger, and see what pops into my mind. So, grab a cup of tea and a packet of Iced VoVos, and enjoy my trip down memory lane and movies.

‘My idea of Heaven is a solid white nightclub with me as a headliner for all eternity, and they LOVE me!’ – Father Dyer

The Exorcist - 1973

Thrillers I Love by Noel Anderson

T is for The Exorcist – R Rated – I recall begging mum to take me to see The Exorcist at the Rapallo theatre. “Please mum, can we, go on.” I was of course under age at the time, but mature for my age so I believed. After some serious nagging over the Graham Kennedy Show on telly, mum reluctantly agreed. On the day, mum brought the movie tickets. I was surprised no one asked me my age, and believed the platform shoes I was wearing helped disguise the fact I was not yet eighteen, or an adult. Years later, I worked as an usher at the Rapallo and saved up enough money to live and work in London. To this day The Exorcist is one of my favourite movies. My rating 5 stars – A masterpiece.

’What’s the boogeyman?’ – Laurie Strode

H is for Halloween – When Halloween opened in Australia it wasn’t the classic it is considered to be today and Jamie Lee Curtis was an unknown actress. Halloween took on cult status due to VHS video. Almost every Australian home had a copy in their video cupboard. I can still see the cover ‘the most successful independent film of all time.’ Halloween of course introduced me to another idol of mine, director John Carpenter. I’ve seen everyone of his movies. I remember baby sitting my niece and nephew and us watching a VHS copy of Halloween together. I’d tried to scare them by jumping out from behind something. Years later my niece thanked me for being great fun when she was growing up. My rating 5 stars.

‘A murderer would never parade his crime in front of an open window’ – Lisa

Rear WindowR is for Rear Window – based on a short story by Cornel Woolrich…believe it or not, I didn’t see Rear Window until I was in my mid 20’s as Rear Window disappeared from public view after its initial run. Hitchcock had withdrawn it from circulation, and held the copyright. My first viewing of Rear Window was at the Sydney Film Festival in the State Theatre and the event was hosted by no other than, James Stewart. Hitchcock had passed away sometime earlier. I remember watching it with my partner at the time. My relationship sadly didn’t go the distance but Rear Window certainly has stood the test of time. I love it! My rating 5 stars – Murder delivered perfectly, with a touch of class.

’You must die! Everyone must die!’ – Marcilla

Thrillers I Love by Noel AndersonI is for Ingrid Pitt – Mum and dad often dropped me out front of the Capital Theatre in the city. One Saturday arvo I went to see an M rated movie (kids must be accompanied by an adult) on my own called the Vampire Lovers, with Hammer Horror’s leading scream queen, Ingrid Pitt. The Vampire Lovers is a film full of…well, saucy lesbian vampires and lots of tits. Mum had no idea what the movie was about, I didn’t tell her. God knows what I made of all the heavy breathing and girl-on-vampire-dyke-action. But, to this day The Vampire Lovers is one of my favourite lesbian thriller/horror films. My rating 5 stars – See it with someone you want to have sex with 😀

‘In this court of law, I’m pleading for love’ – Clarence Darrow

L is for Leopold and Loeb and Compulsion. Filmed in stark black and white and directed by Richard Fleischer, Compulsion is based on the trial of Leopold and Loeb, two homosexual students, who murder a school mate just for thrill of it, and to prove they are intellectually superior. Famous for a speech towards the end of the movie by Orson Wells believed to be the longest monologue in film history, and taken from the transcript of the original trial.  My rating is 5 stars

L is for The Last Wave – I can’t pass up mentioning this great Aussie thriller directed by Peter Weir. The Last Wave was made by South Australian Film Corporation at a time when Australians loved hearing the Aussie accents on screen and cinema chains invested heavily in Australian movies with a Hollywood star, in this case Richard Chamberlain. Australian films at the time were billed as an event. The Last Wave started my interest in aboriginal culture, and the ‘dreamtime.’ I even have a pair of message sticks in my home, a gift from the Festival of Dreaming which I worked on in Sydney, a year before the Olympic Games. My rating for The Last Wave is 5 stars – Thought provoking, alarming, spiritual stuff.

‘Smile nicer. Don’t make your lips tight’ – Marjorie

Thrillers I Love by Noel Anderson

‘Golly Noel, you’ve directed this’

E is for Extremities – Based on a successful stage play, about an attempted rape written by William Mastrosimone, Extremities is famous for proving once and for all that Farrar Fawcett could act. While a bit dated, I can’t help mentioning it because I directed the play in Brisbane at the Cement Box theatre, and every time it comes on TV I think to myself, ‘golly Noel, you’ve directed this.’ Flashback – I’m sitting in the rape crisis centre with the cast and the centre workers, discussing the options open to woman who have been sexually abused. So, for me, E is for Extremities (pic from production) a personal favourite. My rating is 3 stars for the movie, 5 stars for the stage version, and the good memories.

‘This no dream. This is really happening’ – Rosemary Woodhouse

R is for Rosemary’s Baby and Katherine Ross from The Stepford Wives – Ira Levin as far as writers goes is in a league of his own. One of my favourite authors, these are two of my favourite thrillers. I’ve seen both movies a trillion times and love every minute of both films. I even loved it when at a rep cinema twenty minutes from the end of Rosemary’s Baby, the film broke. In shock and on the edge of my seat, I started booing and stamping my feet along with everyone else. I remember thinking at the time ‘this is not a dream Noel. This is really happening.’ My rating 5 stars – Ira Levin can do no wrong.

Thrillers I Love by Noel AndersonS is for Suspiria – Where do I start? An adult fairytale handled with flair and grandeur by one of the worlds great auteurs. Suspiria was released with a pounding soundtrack by Italian pop group the Goblins. I remember sitting alone in a cinema on George Street in Sydney and being bowled over by its brilliance. Suspiria introduced me to another idol, the Italian Hitchcock, Dario Argento. In fact I became obsessed with Italian thrillers, particularly  ‘giallo.’ You know, where the murder is seen from the perspective of the killer, often a gloved hand holding a big bloody knife. My rating 5 stars – Unforgettable

‘Adultery is no laughing matter’ – Elizabeth The Perfect Match

Thrillers I Love? I just remembered, I wrote and directed a thriller called The Perfect Match about marriage, adultery and revenge. It was my official entry into Tropfest in 2002. The signature object that year – a match. It was made before the world wide digital revolution. I thought The Perfect Match was lost forever but I found this recording on an old VHS Tape in a box in my cupboard. The VHS sound is a bit dodgy but the film is a helluva lot of fun. 5 stars from me, enjoy 5 minutes of thriller magic Noel Anderson style.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Noel has directed over 50 theatrical productions and worked in film and TV. He completed NIDA’s Playwright Studio in 1996. Noel’s written work includes the play Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame and the musical Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets. Learn more: Noel Anderson Website

A Bullet to the Head

Fabiana Weiner as Edie Fabiana Weiner as Edie

Extract from Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame
By Noel Anderson

EDIE SCREEN TEST

WOMAN 1 enters with dark glasses, smoking and drinking. A director’s chair with star written on the back is on Stage.

WOMAN 1: Hi. I’m Andy’s it-girl. Where should I sit? Andy?

No one answers. She smokes and drinks.WOMAN 1: Okay. Screen-test. Sedgwick. Nov 16th. Andy’s factory. Action

SOUND OF CAMERA ROLLING.

WOMAN 1: Talk. Hmmm, I’d like to discuss on camera, a bullet to the head. Now, if you took a bullet to the brain would, or would you not, be conscious of being shot? I say you would not be conscious, because the damage happens very fucking fast, too fast for your brain to realize it’s been hit. I don’t know this for a fact because it isn’t really my thing, I’m not a gun crazy kinda girl, my thing is really suicide. Accidental suicide! Of course there are many ways to die, hanging is one, the electric chair is another, and a bullet is another again. Not all deaths are accidents though! That’s why you hire a wound–ballistics-expert, that’s when you’re an expert on gunshot wounds to the body. Right! That’s right, right? Andy? Andy’s not talking anymore today. Oh, is that right? Come out from behind that camera Andy! Come out come out wherever you are!

She takes out a small bag of pills.

WOMAN 1: Left? No. I’m his voice from now on, yes. I do all the TV interviews and the talk shows…whatever… Turn to the camera, right? Red light on! So, where was I then, bullets…if you should happen to take a bullet say while shopping at Tiffany’s, then you have, and this is important, about a 50/50 chance of surviving. Not everyone dies from fucking head injuries no matter how badly shot. So, killing people, shooting them dead, may not be the answer because they might live anyway. I’d try and talk to them first. Try a little kindness. Andy agrees, don’t you? But, it also import…important to note a bullet wound will not necessarily damage consciousness. That’s the point I’m trying to make on the show tonight. Like if I was a soldier, at war, Vietnam, right? And, I was shot. Well, head wounds are not necessarily good to get, are they? I’ve studied this.. I’ve been in lots of hospitals! It’s not good to get shot because it just fucks up your day (She laughs) Okay, I nursed my brother when he died, suicide, and I did read a book on combat fatalities. I found it lying on the Factory floor. The cat had pissed on it. (She laughs) Gee, that lights getting bright? Can we turn one off? Andy? Andy? Can we turn one down? He’s not talking I forgot. Dumb me. I…it’s worth remembering…remembering that trauma…that trauma can happen to anybody. Blood loss is a key…is the key. (She laughs) Did you know…we have 6 litres of blood, the internal artery clears about a quarter of a litre per minute, and in stressful situation, like, being shot, or squeezing into a size ten dress, then that output can double. If we lose just 20% of our blood, then we lose consciousness. Amazing…but, I’ve got to stop rolling, I mean filming because I’m not feeling so well, well informed. My head is fragmented, like someone has pushed a missile through and out the other side. What’s happening? Can we dim the studio lights – please? Andy I think I need a neurosurgeon and some fucking “digital palpation” What do you mean Ms Sedgwick anything wrong?

She stands shaking.

WOMAN 1: Wrong? Jesus Christ, it’s a complicated, man. It’s a medical term for sticking your fingers in and wiggling them about. Stop the camera. Please stop the fucking camera. Where’s the audience? I’m sorry my skull just shattered. Applause!

She falls to the floor.

WOMAN 1: Golly Edie. What about a Kronlien shot to the head? I don’t know what you mean, sir. Can’t you see I’m shutting down. What do you mean it’s the shot that splits open the skull…but neatly ejects the whole brain on the ground like a neat pile of dog shit. Bright! Bright!

She takes a handful of pills and drinks.

WOMAN 1: Ciao Manhattan, I’m shutting down. I’m done. No really…I’m done. Cut. Turn off the camera. Consciousness before death… it’s simply not guaranteed.

She slumps back in the chair, and drops a bottle of pills on the floor.

http://australianplays.org/script/ASC-1542

ANDY WARHOL’S FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME : SCRIPT AVAILABLE ONLINE

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets – Souvenir Program

img_2004A Note from writer/director NOEL ANDERSON – Welcome to ‘Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets’ online souvenir program. The program features a full synopsis and links to nearly all 14 original songs. It’s been ten years since I directed the one act play of  AHAICOA at Chapel Off Chapel. It ran just under an hour and had no music score. Today it is a full length musical. Over that time a lot of people have been part of Audrey’s journey. We currently have approx. 1600 followers on Facebook and our official music video ‘Travellers in Time’ has had 12,000 views on YouTube. It’s been a helluva ride, we’ve had our share of heartbreak too but there’s been affection along the way also, particularly from social media.  No love though from the Aussie cultural institutions, but we had a little ‘ financial assistance’ from Bendigo Bank for our first production in the Melba Spiegeltent a few years back.  Audrey’s themes are topical, growing up, family, falling out of love, and mental health. I know if everyone got to know ‘Audrey Hepburn the musical,’ and we could find a ‘bloody big time producer,’ they’d love her just as much as our leading lady ‘Liz O’Sullivan’ from suburban Melbourne does.  Curtain up, light the lights and enjoy the online souvenir program 😎

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets – Full Synopsis with Song Links
ACT 1.

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets

I believe in pink!

Overture   Brighton Beach Melbourne, Yesterday – Liz O’Sullivan sits glancing out on a beach full of colourful bathing boxes. She laments I Believe in PINK with Audrey Hepburn her imaginary friend, about growing up a woman in Australia and dreams of being a Hollywood star, loved by everyone. Her fiancée, Len from Collingwood, arrives with Liz’s family and they try to persuade her to accept Len’s hand in marriage. Liz cracks under the pressure of everyone watching and waiting for her to answer, so Liz’s father pays for Liz to go to therapy for a year.  Watching me

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our AssetsLiz meets her therapist Rod, who has the looks of a movie star. During her first therapy session, Liz is constantly interrupted by voices in her head, one of them is Audrey Hepburn, who behaves like one of the characters from famous movies – ‘My Fair Lady, A Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’  Rod wonders just how many voices are actually inside Liz’s mind.Millions Of People Like You  Liz confesses that marriage frightens her to death and that she had a breakdown when her ex-boyfriend, Emad an Egyptian prince, left her after their engagement.

Liz blames her mother and father for her current mindset, as they have a ‘compulsive unhealthy obsession’ with Hollywood and movie stars. Mum is obsessed with Elizabeth Taylor and dad is wild about screen legend, Audrey Hepburn. The perfect woman. Liz believes her parents are both cuckoo!

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets

Watching Me

So, with pen and diary in hand, Liz decides she’ll try and get to the bottom of what makes her family tick, and starts recording everything they say. Mum tells Liz, woman to woman, she married her father because he was the best looking boy at the local dance. Liz can’t believe what she is hearing. Women don’t marry just for looks, do they? Sadie’s Dance

At home, Liz constantly listens to her parents bickering over dinner about who is the most beautiful woman on TV. Is it  Elizabeth Taylor or Audrey Hepburn? Liz calls this dinner table conversation ‘The Beauty Debate’. (WHEN BEAUTY DOMINATES THE HEART) Will Liz ever be as beautiful as these Hollywood stars?

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets

When Beauty Dominates

Dad tells Liz that her mother could have been a movie star like Audrey Hepburn…if only things had been different for them. Hollywood Movie Stars  Liz wonders why things have to change in relationships?

Liz’s father remarries (Caroline the wicked witch of Coburg) and Liz’s relationship with her dad sours. Liz feels abandoned, and believes her father is always picking on the way she looks and dresses. In her bedroom, under a poster of Audrey Hepburn at her most glamourous, she comes up with a plan. Her dad loves Audrey Hepburn so she decides to copy her every move, even the way she talks. Liz is going to win back her father’s affection, she is going to change, be more like her father’s idol, Audrey Hepburn.  I Want To Be Like Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our AssetsAt her Catholic school, Liz is given the lead role of Eliza Doolittle, a role made famous by her Audrey Hepburn in Hollywood film ‘My Fair Lady’. At rehearsals, Liz starts behaving more like a diva every minute, insisting on changing the lines from the play, which makes her unpopular with the teachers.

Liz’s body is maturing, embarrassed by her developing breasts and she develops a crush on her teacher, Mr Conway.  Liz’s mum tells her she looks like Natalie Wood in Westside Story, even though she doesn’t. Excited that she is beautiful, Liz dresses up for her birthday dinner with her father and stepmother Caroline, but Liz’s fantasy comes crashing down to earth when her father starts criticizing the outfit she is wearing, telling her she looks like a Mexican gunslinger from an old Orson Well’s movie.

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets

I Want To Be Like Audrey Hepburn

Back in therapy, Liz has developed a strong feelings for Rod which frustrates her imaginary friend, Audrey Hepburn. Liz dreams of dancing with Rod dressed up like a Southern Belle from an old 1930’s movie. The dream turns into a nightmare, as one by one Liz’s ex-partners confront her, and line up to dance.

Liz wakes from the nightmare and spies Rod alone in his office. She learns he has an obsession as crazy as her family’s obsession with beauty and Hollywood stars. Rod is obsessed with matinee idol Rock Hudson, and is probably gay. Liz discovers that his office cupboard is lined with hundreds of pictures of the movie star.

Liz laments the trouble she is having committing to marriage with Len, and finding a ‘real man’ in the modern Melbourne. Feeling he has let Liz down, Rod asks her to dance with him and together they ponder where all the real men are hiding. A Real Man

ACT 2

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our AssetsOverture Reprise – Liz awakes in Rod’s arms, back in therapy.  She must have passed out. She confesses to Rod that her ex-fiancée, Emad, couldn’t commit to her and something cracked inside her head. (EMAD’S DANCE) Emad invites Liz for a coffee, Len gets jealous and Liz panics, thinking her only true friend, Audrey Hepburn, has disappeared from her mind, forever.  But, Audrey returns, warning Liz to never to trust a wild thing… her therapist, Rod.

On Brighton Beach with Rod, Liz produces a long list of names. She tells Rod these they are men she has slept with, confessing that she usually ends her relationships. Emad’s leaving, left her feeling unattractive, made her feel less of a woman. As Liz is about to leave, Rod drops a bombshell, suggesting she sees the movie The Three Faces of Eve, a film about a girl with multiple personalities. Puzzled, Liz leaves Rod’s office feeling frightened and alone. Emotions

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets

Make The Most Of What You’ve Got

During lunch, Caroline (wicked stepmother from Coburg) turns up unexpectedly to the shoe shop in Melbourne Central, where Liz works. She wants to get to ease the tension between them, after all they are family. (HEELS) When Liz’s mother arrives unannounced, they try to encourage Liz to use all her womanly charms get what she wants in life, to marry Len before she grows old and becomes invisible to the opposite sex. Make The Most Of What You’ve Got

Liz is horrified by the thought of compromising just to fit into a man’s world.  Mum hurries to dress, she’s late for a date with a young man she met on the internet. Audrey Hepburn sits watching the scene unfold like a 1940’s screwball comedy, excited that mum had the guts to cruise the internet.  Things spiral out of control when Caroline declares she is pregnant to Liz’s father and Emad gate crashes the house, proudly announces he is in fact mum’s internet date…and they’re off to see Now Voyager at the Astor Cinema. On hearing this, Liz fears she’ll fall apart and reminds Emad that Now Voyager is one of their favourite Bette Davis films. Liz is left alone with her imaginary friend Audrey Hepburn, together they ponder the meaning of  love. Audrey Hepburn tells Liz to just accept life, unconditionally. Traveller in Time .

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets

Travellers in Time

Liz decides to takes up a job offer in Perth for a new theatre company and starts making plans to leave Melbourne. Len warns her that there is nothing in Perth for him, and he won’t go. They fight over her decision and Len’s constant critiquing of what Liz wears and how she looks. Len reminds Liz that she is not a star, she is not Audrey Hepburn, and that this isn’t just about marriage, in fact she can’t commit to anything in life. Rod tells Liz to face the fact that she is not that special. (Reprise: MILLIONS OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU).

After a Liz’s singing competition, Len and Liz’s relationship is at breaking point so she decides to break all ties (WHY DON’T YOU SAY TO ME) Liz moves in with her mother for her last few days in Melbourne. Mum offers Liz some home spun motherly advice… and that’s – ‘Get married before you’re too damn old and stop talking to yourself and never mention Audrey Hepburn again.’  My Biological Clock  So, with many questions about love, marriage, family and Hollywood… Liz decides that maybe it’s time to grow up.

Rod her therapist is the next relationship to bite the dust. Rod tells Liz on their last therapy session, that all the answers are inside of her and that life is never what we see on the silver screen. Liz kisses him goodbye, knowing he is a good man, and leaves with one thought in her mind… to rid herself of Audrey Hepburn’s constant chatter in her head once and for all.

audrey_0294Expecting a battle of the minds, Liz is surprised to find Audrey Hepburn is packed and ready to go. The two old friends hug and say their goodbyes. Audrey disappears as if by magic, back into the world of movie marathons and Hollywood make believe. Audrey’s parting words are as Eliza Doolittle, “Now common drover move ya bloody rear, ya got a train to catch.” Dad arrives to take Liz to the train station. He notices she has grown into a strong independent woman and believes now, without Audrey and in a good mindset, she can do anything her heart desires. Dad is proud of her, even of what she wears. You Stunned Me .

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our AssetsFlinders Street Station under the Clocks – Liz waits for a train to Perth. Just as she is about to board Len arrives with a suitcase. Liz tells him that Audrey Hepburn is gone for good! They kiss in the busy train station as millions of people walk by. Not A Day Goes By . Liz suddenly remembers her diary and all the notes she’d taken over the last year. She has recorded everything. Liz takes out her note book and starts to write: AUDREY HEPBURN AND I CONSIDER OUR ASSETS – A play by Liz O’Sullivan.

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets  is a new Australian musical set in Melbourne. It premiered at the Melba Spiegeltent in Collingwood on 29th October 2015 and features 14 original songs.
Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets is written by Gayelene Carbis; based on her original play; Co-Written and adapted by Noel Anderson, Geoff Main and Cerise De Gelder; Music & Lyrics Geoff Main

Original Production
Director Noel Anderson
Musical Director – John Grant
Costumes – Lauren Ritchie
Set Design – John Wonnacott
Choreographers – Mitch Ralston & Caroline Hawke
Photography – Jody Stitt
Original Cast – Kelly Cupo, Hester Van Der Vyver, Mitch Ralston, Paul Dawber, Nadia Andary, Benjamin James, Caroline Hawke, James Ao
For further details contact: noel_anderson@y7mail.com
Presented by Harlequin Ink

Audrey The Musical Offical Website

Special thanks to: Cheryl Beattie, Lee Murphy, Jacob Cunningham, Eddie Muliaumaseai’ and Lee McClenaghan

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