For a while, I was a pedophile priest

In 1992, I decided to join my university’s theater group. They only played Shakespeare. The English version was to be played on May 1st of every year. In the afternoon we would play the traditional English version in true Elizabethan style, and the English accent of 17th century England had to be respected as well. You can just imagine what a group a French students sounded like when they attempted to speak Elizabethan English.

Then later that day, we would play the French version, but this time in a more modern manner. Both plays were played on the same day and we were talking of an 8 hour show in total.

That year, the most excellent and lamentable tragedy of Romeo & Juliet was the chosen play. The director decided that since I had nasty eye-brows I would play Tybalt, the mean guy who kills Mercutio and eventually gets killed by Romeo himself. I had always wanted to play the bad guy so this suited me fine although I wasn’t good at it. I sounded more like a hysterical hyena that kept on screaming things at Benvolio such as: “What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds? Turn thee Benvolio, look upon thy death.” and stuff… I eventually ended up fencing in tights after every single verbal exchange and eventually died a dramatic death as the audience applauded the happiness of getting rid of me.
I didn’t even manage to play dead that well, as I had a bad cold. Imagine, the vision of this coughing corpse in the middle of the stage made the audience feel how worth their money I was. Basicaly people were laughing their tits off and kept on throwing oranges at me. Since, in true Shakespearian style, rotten fruits and vegetables had been placed in the audience, for the crowd to freely express their anger at a character they disliked.

As far as the more modern French version was concerned, remember it was 1992 and the war in Bosnia had reached its climax. We were therefore to play it in true Bosnian war lord style. Our director thought that the rivality between the Montagues and the Capulets was so representative of the inter-ethnic fightings taking place in former Yugoslavia. Hence the moustaches and kalashnikov we had to wear and carry on stage and instead of fencing elegantly, we would stick knives into each other and blow grenades back and forth.

The director decided that a suitable part for me would be to play Friar Laurence. I was happy to get that part until he added at the end of the audition: “and I’d like you to act very gay on stage, as I’ve always thought Friar Laurence did it with Romeo”. The various scandals of catholic priests molesting young boys was also a modern concept at the time and my mission was apparently to be the personification of evil in both English and French. International bitch, ahead of my time.

In 1992, I was a total closet case and acted butch wherever I went. (attempted to act butch was a more appropriate description). Therefore playing someone gay was disturbing but extremely appealing. Had he asked me to act gay as I looked it and I would have never been able to play anything else but a gay character? Or did he really think that Friar Laurence had done it with Romeo?

Needless to say that I played the gay character much better than the mean one and my performance was very appreciated. I had to pick flowers on stage, smelt them, fixed my hair and caress Romeo on the back.

The show started well and the pace was good, the audience reacted fine, laughed at the right times and went “oh” when they were supposed to be surprised. However, the balcony scene didn’t go well at all as parts of Juliet’s balcony collapsed as Romeo was climbing it. Somehow, it cast a spell on the whole play and the rest was going to be talk of the town, but not for the right reasons. . It did keep the audience awake though.

Juliet was a good looking girl, a very nice one too, an extremely smart girl with a strong personality. However, as one can never be perfect, she was a dreadful actress. She recited her role without putting any emotions in it, sighed a lot, basically she wasn’t into it. She had been forced to take the part for her looks and everything she said sounded like: “Oh! Romeo, I adore thee (sigh), let me kiss thee (whatever!), so kiss me and let’s get this over and done with (like!)”.

You may remember that there’s a scene in Romeo & Juliet where Juliet threatens Friar Laurence to stab herself if he doesn’t find a solution to their impossible love ordeal.

Juliet: O, shut the door! and when thou hast done so,
Come weep with me–past hope, past cure, past help!

Friar: Ah, Juliet, I already know thy grief;
It strains me past the compass of my wits.
I hear thou must, and nothing may
prorogue it,

On Thursday next be married to this County.

Juliet: Tell me not, friar, that thou hearest of this,
Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it.

If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help,
Do thou but call my resolution wise
And with this knife I’ll help it presently.

*****

Well, now here is how the scene went in the 1992 French version, with me as the gay friar:

Juliet: O old Friar, hand me this potion or I shall kill myself (whatever!)
Gay Friar: You are mad girlfriend, you‘re way hysterical, take some prozac!
Juliet: If you do not hand me this potion

now, I shall kill myself with this…

She panicked and said as loudly as she said the rest:

Juliet: Shit Mickael, I left the fucking knife backstage!
Gay Friar (turning red and whispering): That’s ok, carry on, pretend you have a knife in your hand, doesn’t matter, for God’s sake!
Juliet (as loudly as ever): But I can’t die if I don’t have my knife, how credible would that be?
Gay Friar (still whispering): C’mon, we don’t have time for that, they’re going to start realizing something’s wrong, move on!
Juliet (back on track): Oh Friar, I shall kill myself with this knife (and she bursts out laughing as someone hands the knife from behind the backstage curtain).

An arm, a hand, a knife sticks out of the curtain. It looks completely ridiculous.

The audience was furious and oranges were copiously thrown on Juliet’s white gown. (they were not supposed to be left there during the French version). Then she said:

Juliet (whispering this time): I wanna go home now, this play sucks and I can’t possibly die with orange stains on my gown!
Gay Friar: You’re a cunt, you suck at this and I hate you!
Juliet (still whispering): How can you say this to me! You fucking pedophile priest! See how I can finish this play looking fabulous!

And she went on reciting. The play was a complete disaster and Juliet was finally replaced before our international tour.

Some people claimed that they thought this whole act was made on purpose. That was nice of them.

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8 Responses

  1. Juliet be nice, beautiful and shut up!!!!

  2. I would have paid a years salary to have seen either one of those productions, I really would’ve. I went to see Romeo and Juliet at the Avalon or Warner Theatre in Wash.,D.C. in high school and then we had to study it. I was too busy getting stoned and cutting up to be in drama and I wished I had.But, I would have died to see that!

  3. theatre is at its best when it is improvised. i would not have thrown oranges, i would have enjoyed the change of script! il faut bien rire – il faut applaudir l’imagination & créativité, non?
    btw, l’huile de cacahuète phrase has become my favourite – sans blague.

  4. HA! I love what you told Juliet. I hate when another actor tries to steal your thundar on stage, and steal every scene!

    Does anyone really perform Shakespere in an Elizabethan manner now a days?

    As for the throwing of vegetables, just collect them all up afterward, and make a salad!

  5. Yes, I concur with Rob, when life throws vegetables make a Cobb Salad!!

    Why is there a handicapped wheelchair on your word verification and it’s 8 letters long. Is this to weed out the derelicts such as moi’?

  6. ok, I see it now Mr. Tech Savvy. Pretty cool!

  7. I’ve never had a cobb salad Babs, whats in it? any good? I’m loving the Wendy’s mandarin chicken one!

  8. […] I should know that this doesn’t work though as I tried it before in previous posts: Insulated picnic bags and ugly cunt or Wanna porn and kiss a tit? or For a while I was a pedophile priest but which brought nothing but perverts who didn’t even read my posts alternatively my mother who asked to have a serious talk with me. But let’s try again. […]

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