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A home theatre experience: Alexi Duggins’ flat gets turned into a stage

Posted at 3:35 pm, November 11, 2013 in Fun London
© David Axelbank

Editor-at-large Alexi Duggins is at your mercy. So this week you had Theatre Royal Stratford East put on a play in his flat

According to Shakespeare, all of life is a stage and we are just actors bimbling from one scene to the next. Big Willy’s on to a lovely idea in theory. But that means multiple acts in the dramatic opus of my life are based on scoffing Monster Munch in front of ‘Four In A Bed’.

Theatre Royal Stratford East obviously doesn’t mind, though. For I am one of the 30 members of the public whose homes will be turned into mini-theatres – complete with drinks receptions – at 7.30pm one Saturday for the performance of a unique one-person play (which is filmed and then later shown online). The topic: the homeowner, ie me.

The research process is an interview. ‘Why does your doorbell say “The Eurovision Song Contest”?’ asks the performer, Natasha, as she steps into my flat.
‘Well, erm, I like to host Eurovision buffet parties…’
‘Are you a good cook?’
‘I’m great at sandwiches!’
‘So is that what you’re serving after the performance?’
‘I’m meant to provide food?’

Three days later, my oven is stuffed with Iceland canapés. My sofa is full of friends. Glitter rains and theatrical smoke billows as Natasha intercuts a monologue with ace Eurovision-style songs.
She trills about my love of London. She warbles about my Rinse FM obsession. And to make me squirm, she belts out a musical prayer called ‘My God, Alexi’. My mates laugh, I turn bright red; the play ends. This portion of the evening has gone very well.
Then I realise people are staring.The food! I open my oven to find half-scorched Bernard Matthews turkey dinosaurs. I hack off the worst bits and serve them. To make up for cremating this ancient turkey civilisation, I pour my guests wine.
‘Is this dessert wine?’
It is…

So I try to cook more canapés. But I’ve only turned the bottom bit of the oven on. Thus all I have is a half-burned, part-chilly snack selection. At this point, I only have one option.
‘Guys!’ I yell, bursting into the living room. ‘I’ve got Monster Munch!’ And as everyone slowly leaves, there is, at least, one consolation.
I knew Monster Munch and theatre didn’t go. Stupid Shakespeare.

© David Axelbank

Home Theatre is shown on stratfordeast.tv from 8am on Saturday November 9Read more of Alexi’s adventures here and suggest his next task on Twitter @Alexiduggins.

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