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K-Nine

The Four LX Men

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This was written by Brian from The Blue Room

 

The Four LX men

 

The Scene:

Four men dressed in black tee-shirts are sitting together in the Control Room of a brand-new fully funded theatre.

'Life for Rent' is playing in the background on a mini-disc.

 

FIRST LX:

Aye, very passable, that, very passable that new Martin 2000.

SECOND LX:

Nothing like a good moving light, eh, Josiah?

THIRD LX:

You're right there, Obadiah.

FOURTH LX:

Who'd have thought ten year ago we'd all be sittin' here operating Martin moving lights, eh?

FIRST LX:

In them days we was glad to have the use of a VL1.

SECOND LX:

A secondhand VL1.

FOURTH LX:

Without colour or gobo wheels.

THIRD LX:

Or lamp.

FIRST LX:

With a cracked lens, an' all.

FOURTH LX:

Oh, we never had a lens. We used to have to make do with the bottom of a milk bottle.

SECOND LX:

The best we could manage was a piece of strawberry jelly.

THIRD LX:

But you know, we were freelance in those days, though we were poor.

FIRST LX:

Because we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Freelancing doesn't buy you happiness, son".

FOURTH LX:

Aye, 'e was right.

FIRST LX:

Aye, 'e was.

FOURTH LX:

I was happier then and I had nothin'. We used to light a whole show with a single 63 Amp feed.

SECOND LX:

63 Amps! You were lucky to have 63 Amps! We used to light a whole show, all 13 Amps of it, no extension cables, 'alf the dimmers missing, and LX and Sound were all 'uddled together in one Control Room for fear of electricution.

THIRD LX:

Eh, you were lucky to have a Control Room! We used to have to work in t' corridor!

FIRST LX:

Oh, we used to dream of workin' in a corridor! Would ha' been a palace to us. We used to work in an old water tank above the green room. We got disturbed every evening by a load of drunken actors leaving the bar! Control Room? Huh.

FOURTH LX:

Well, when I say 'Control Room' it was only a hole in the ground covered by an old cyc cloth, but it was a Control Room to us.

SECOND LX:

We were evicted from our 'ole in the ground; we 'ad to go and work in a skip.

THIRD LX:

You were lucky to have a skip! There were a hundred and fifty of us working in t' shoebox in t' middle o' car park.

FIRST LX:

Cardboard box?

THIRD LX:

Aye.

FIRST LX:

You were lucky. We worked for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get in at six in the morning, clean the stage, eat a crust of stale bread, working in t' theatre, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got to work our Technical Manager would thrash us wi' 15 Amp extension lead.

SECOND LX:

Luxury. We used to have to get to the skip at six o'clock in the morning, clean the stage, eat a handful of broken lamps, work twenty hour day at theatre for tuppence a month, and Technical Manager would thrash us at end of day with a broken lantern, if we were lucky!

THIRD LX:

Well, of course, we had it tough. We used to 'ave to get in t' shoebox at twelve o'clock at night and lick stage clean wit' tongue. We ate two bits of cardboard left over from props, worked twenty-four hours a day at theatre for sixpence every four years, and when we got to work our Technical Manager would slice us in two wit' Leatherman.

FOURTH LX:

Right. I had to go to work in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, light a show with nowt but two candles, work twenty-nine hours a day, and pay theatre owner for permission to come to work, and when we got to work, our Technical Manager and our Stage Manager would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.

FIRST LX:

And you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you.

ALL:

They won't!

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