Sunday, 6 June 2010


Lockwood and I relaxed last night in front of Takeshi Kitano's Hana-bi: but barely had Nishi bought the stolen cab from the bullying scrap merchant before Lockwood said it was time to turn in. Sharing a room, as we have done for five weeks now, means bedtime for me too.

But in the morning, rather than being super-fresh from our extra zzzs, Lockwood complains of being "beyond fug". Sluggish and woozy, washing his hair for the first time since The Bad Lieutenant fails to straighten his brains out, and he leaves the flat under a cloud to pick up his friend - and our guest star for the day - Jennifer E. Jordan from Manchester Piccadilly.
Midday at Nexus and the three of us take tea and reinforce the fundamental insult parameters within which the studio has come to operate. Tuesday Betts has done the vodka & cider thing last night so rolls up late and full of attitude. Nobody does angry/apologetic like Betts.
Our production design deputy Suzanne Thompson has made an incredible woman-sized teabag costume for Jordan, who will be playing an undercover botanist (Harley Byrne - and, it transpires, Being - has an deep-rooted hatred of botanists). We fill the time til lunch supplementing the tealeaves therein, as they are to become a central image of this episode.
Following lunch we run through the whole, violent scene at the bottom of a tea-cup. Byrne's nemesis, BEING, has miniaturized Byrne under the pretence of enabling him to record the "Song of the Biscuit Crumb Algae" amongst the dregs of a brew at Nexus Art Cafe, back in the year 2010. Really, she has ambush in mind and - distracted by the pathetic tears of our guest botanist - Byrne is attacked, robbed and tied up.
What makes this particularly fun is that the teacup has been built in the snuggest corner of our studio; is lit by two redheads and a pair of garden lights; the doors are closed to insulate us against Nexus's acoustic gig beyond; and Lockwood is feeling worse than ever. We steam him, leap on him, grab him, bind him and gag him in the sweltering heat. Betts, feeling somewhat better for a chilled ginger pop, has lost the prop she requires for the final shot and thus Lockwood is left trussed up like a cartoon villain under the lights for several minutes as false-start after false-start convince us it would be inefficient to give him a break. But break he does, the second we wrap: rather than attend his own goodbye drinks tonight ahead of his departure from Manchester this Wednesday, Lockwood opts to go home to bed. I feel a bit bad for my slight sense of triumph, but shrug it off.

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