I was in a Film Studies lecture recently, being told about avant-garde cinema, when we were shown a 7 minute long video of a lemon. It’s safe to say that I’m never going to get these 7 minutes back (all that happened was the light changed slowly around the lemon, not the kind of film we’re used to but I suppose that was the point). I did send many snapchats of this film, and received many more, and so by dinner time everyone had heard about the 7 minute lemon video. Why, you wonder?
It’s the lemons.
I understand that’s not very explanatory. Most recently I’ve been working on a play called Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, by a guy called Sam Steiner. It went up last week and somehow we haven’t been able to escape the clutches of citrus servitude. Myself and the rest of the crew have been roundly accused of not shutting up about lemons, of both the real and metaphorical variety. It’s entirely true of course, I now point them out every time we’re in Tesco. I laughed the other day because my friend got a lemon sorbet. It’s possibly the oddest in-joke I’ve ever been a party to.
Especially because the play itself has no actual lemons.
It’s about a couple called Oliver and Bernadette, who live in a world which has just passed a ‘Quietude Bill’ that restricts everyone to only being able to say 140 words per day. I love it as a play, and have a simultaneous hatred and affinity for both of the characters. It’s quite tricky to pull off, as the scenes jump backwards and forwards from the time before the bill is passed and after. The title is in reference to a scene where Bernadette wants to get all of her words out in one go, so says a random list that includes five mentions of a certain acidic fruit.
My role in the production was publicity, so my hard drive is now full of pictures of lemons, yellow objects, videos of people juggling lemons, people using lemons as phones, people using lemons as hats, people eating lemons in pubs and videos about lemon-stealing whores (that one’s the intro to a porno – involving lemons? Was hilarious to a group of people who do nothing but talk about lemons). I have a dress covered in lemons that I wore to the opening performance. Soon, I will tear off my outer skin to reveal the lemon underneath.
However many lemons I now have that I now don’t know what to do with; and however many awful lemon puns we came up with; I genuinely enjoyed the experience so I’ve now joined a team that’s taking a production to the Edinburgh Fringe this year. We had a publicity meeting the other day. Guess what the ‘symbol’ of the play is going to be?
There is no escape from yellow fruit.