Archive for June, 2009

Naunton Wayne makes an understandable mistake.

Posted in FILM with tags , , on June 30, 2009 by dcairns

“Sorry, old man, I thought this was the bathroom –”

Pause. Realisation.

“Extraordinary thing.”

From Carol Reed’s ’30s sexploitation shocker A GIRL MUST LIVE. More on this at a later time.

A Props List Now

Posted in FILM, Theatre with tags , , , on June 30, 2009 by dcairns


Picked up an old Penguin playscript of Spike Milligan and John Antrobus’s absurdist apocalypse comedy The Bedsitting Room at around the same time as I got the BFI’s DVD of the movie version, THE BED SITTING ROOM. Here, for your enlightenment, is the props list, which seems to form a sort of madman’s plot synopsis of the show.

Portable parking meter, top practical with click effect.

Giant DAZ packets slung on gas mask belt.

Tin mug.

Roll of lavatory paper, ordinary.

Giant Lux packet on gas mask belt.

Milk bottle, full, with gold top.

Gas mask, canister type.

Insect spray gun, with coloured mist.


8ft 9 un high constructed pile of boots, then pile of boots on top to give added height, these boots will be removed before striking Union Jack on top.

Step ladder to get to top of pile of boots.

Brochure or pamphlet.

Jayne Mansfield.


Victorian hat-stand.

Telephone set, no wires, just receiver. Green and modern.


Birth certificate strapped to wrist.

Punishment caps, design from D. Jones. each with flashing light on top, green, yellow and red. Batteried and switched.

Defeat of England medal, ordinary medal.

Flip top bible, made like cigarette pack.

Starting pistol.

Victorian brass bed, no rail at foot end.

Telescopes. (one for Vicar, long, and one inside coffin.)

Bath chair with handle running out of back centrally, on handle a steering wheel.

Iron mangle with handle and practical.

Never-ending sock to go through mangle.

Yacht to appear out of coffin through hole, on stick and with yellow flag.

Hot-water bottle, red rubber.

Portable door, with blackboard panel for writing on. Design with D. Jones.

Suitcases and brown-paper bags.

Baby’s rattle. Blue.

Ship’s telegraph and with sound.

Moses basket.

Magnifying glass, 4 in across.

Chicken. Real.

Noses false with moustaches.

Head mask to give the impression another person is on the TV screen.

Heavy knife.

Prow of ship to be fitted round S. Milligan’s waist.

Eye patch.

Coffin with hinge lid, deep.

Holes in lid for yacht already mentioned, hole in the side for balloons, space for bailer and container of water. To hold a TV aerial and whole thing painted black.

Fly swatter, plastic and red and yellow.

Cigar box, with plastic coloured clothes pegs.

Ring setting for ‘bread stone’.


18 carot Hovis.

Sign, reading ‘refined room to let’, to fit portable window pane.

Chocolate gold-wrapped pennies.

Doctor’s reflex hammer.

Brick for Fortnum, to be inside coat in pocket and easy to drop out.

Glove on never-ending sleeve for Fortnum, grey, to run into pocket inside coat having travelled through armhole.

Exigencies of space preclude listing all the props.

Shooting Fish

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on June 29, 2009 by dcairns


Over at the Auteurs’ Notebook I deliver my verdict on Andrea Arnold’s FISH TANK. While I was a bit down on RED ROAD for being kind of glum and depressing, this time I seem to be saying her movie isn’t depressing enough. It’s entirely possible that I’m just never going to be satisfied with modern British realism. I leave it to you to decide is this is Caliban’s rage at seeing his face in the mirror, petty jealousy because AA is making features and I’m not (and I do worry this might be true, I seem to hate everything new here), or some kind of gosh-darned CRITICAL INSIGHT, unlikely as that may seem.

The Auteurs would love it if you join the discussion over there.