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Diary of the first eight visits can be viewed from the link below and this short diary of events for the 9th visit contain SPOILERS:

https://christopherhong.com/2013/10/28/the-drowned-man-temple-studios-8th-visit-diary

The plan for the first loop is to follow Conrad (Adam Burton). Perhaps I get there a bit too early and it is a good 10 minutes before he appears in the dressing room area making inkblot in the side dressing room. He then sets off and as he approaches Studio 3, he gives me a stare and enters the yet to open studio 3 which leaves me outside with a five to ten minutes down time waiting for him to reappear in the side dressing room. From the point of PA’s visit and drug taking, the loop follows as described in the Facebook Spoiler group (shown below). The story of Conrad is disturbed and troubled and his story begins as a drag queen in town. While spurned and chased out by the town’s folk, he becomes the go-to guy for drugs in the studio and enjoys a brief moment in the spotlight as an entertainer and stars in a film with Romola. In the end, he is sent to Studio 8 signifying his demise.

Burton plays Conrad as a man in perpetual turmoil and an occasional arrogance that stems from his drug taking. He remains in the periphery of the two main stories without any real connection with other character which highlights his loneliness. As an aside, the 1:1 in studio 8 is a more intense experience than my previous one with the Fool, probably because of the seriousness of the character of Conrad. I have a sense of thrill and privilege in the motel scene where he changes out of his drag clothing as there are ten other people watching me take off his shoes and stockings. And there is a funny moment for his 1:1 in the side dressing room. I only realise too late that the 1:1 is going to happen and since I have had it before in a previous visit, I try to back out and let someone else have it. There is another audience member in the room and I manage to back out of the room leaving Conrad with her but unfortunately, she slips away in the last moment leaving me and Conrad smiling and looking at each other at this amusing incident. Conrad locked the door and began the 1:1 by saying “Let’s drop the charade, we all know who you are…” which is both comforting and oddly chilling. An all round excellent loop.

The second loop begins with an attempt to follow Andrea but somehow I get distracted by an onrushing Claude Estee (David Essing) and decide to spend some time with him instead as I have very limited knowledge of his loop. The point of which I join is when he is dancing on the boardroom table with photos of Frankie surrounding him. His character has a few of moments of interaction with the audience members, one of which is when he watches Frankie and Andrea dance in Studio 5 and he whispers how great Frankie is. The other is when he addresses an audience member as he changes in and out of his dark suit for Frankie’s initiation. Estee is an influential figure in the studio together with his wife Alice and abuse his power with newcomer Faye and Frankie, both eager to be a star. He is affected by his affair with Frankie and clearly heartbroken about Frankie desertion but lacks any further development to give a real insight into his character. Essing is a great fit for the part of Estee with his slick back hair and tall slender frame that works so well with his three piece suit. His scenes with Frankie are passionate and Essing plays the part with appropriate smugness and pride.

This brings me near the start of the finale which feels rather short for a 3 hour show. This is a somewhat more intimate visit and I feel more involved than the previous visit, probably brought on by some quality interactions with Conrad and Estee. Again, there are still so little overlaps in terms of scenes I have seen after 9 visits and I keep discovering little nuances with characters and the overall story that have not registered before. There are two more visits planned for now which I hope will bring a natural end to my participation of the show and I look forward to it.

Conrad:
– Changes into drag (Seamstress Shop)
– Drinks and sings at bar (Saloon)
– Playfully seduces William on bar (Saloon)
– Flirts with and spurned by Barman (Saloon)
– Changes out of drag (Motel Room)*
– Briefly interacts with gatekeeper (Gates)
– Makes ink blot (Side Dressing Room)**
– Changes into suit and tails (Side Dressing Room)
– Meets up with Andrea to head to bar (Dressing Room)
– Performs magic trick with Andrea (Studio 3)
– Admonishes Andrea (Corridors)
– Visited by P.A. and drugged (Side Dressing Room)
– Changes into casual clothes (Side Dressing Room)
– Rehearses lines for scene with Romola (Studio 5)
– Sent to… (Studio 8) by Mr. Stanford (via voice in Studio 5)
– 1:1 in car park (via trailer in Woodchip Caravan Park)
* asks mask to assist with heels and tights
**1:1 in little room in dressing room

Claude Estee:
– Casting dance with Alice (Secretary’s Office)
– Auditions Faye with Mr. Stanford (Audition Room)
– Watches Andrea audition with William (Audition Room)
– Shares pill with Doctor (Corridors)
– Spinning box dance with Dolores (Dressing Room)
– Auditions Frankie with Alice (Studio 5)
– Goes down to basement for initiation (Corridors)
– Gets changed into black suit and mask (Recorder Room Office)
– Frankie’s initiation (Masonic Temple Room)
– Gets changed out of black suit and mask (Recorder Room Office)
– Dances on table surrounding by photos of Frankie (Boardroom)
– Watches Andrea and Frankie dance (Studio 5)
– Dances with Frankie (Basement Corridor)
– Attends orgy (Masonic Temple Room)
– Tries to seduce Frankie (Masonic Temple Room)
– Dances over photos (Basement Corridor)
– Tears up picture of Frankie (Shredding Room)
– Hides while Andrea dances (Small Snow Room)
– Carries Andrea into dressing room (Dressing Room)

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One thought on “The Drowned Man, Temple Studios (9th visit diary)

  1. Pingback: The Drowned Man, Temple Studios (10th visit diary) | Chris' Weblog

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