My Invisible Boyfriend is set in the present day – but Mr Venables, the excruciatingly over-friendly Performing Arts teacher, is undeniably trapped in the 80s. His musical version of Twelfth Night is replete with neon fingerless gloves, rollerskates and Big Hair.
“But forget all that stuff about dukes, guys. This is not 1601. No one is going to be wearing codpieces in this production. We’re better than that, guys. We’re going to set this somewhere crazy. Take our audience somewhere they didn’t know they were going to go. Shake up our Shakespeare!”
Venables whips out a marker, and writes IN THE 80s on his poster, then adds !!! on the end.
Fili makes a little moaning noise of despair.
“OH MY GOD!” hisses Ludo. “Leg warmers! And Lycra! And blue mascara!”
From the look on her face, these are apparently supposed to be good things.
For us crumblies who remember it first time round *raises hand* this is both painfully familiar, and a, um, broad interpretation of 80s pop culture. We didn’t all jog the streets in our fashionable leisurewear, our Walkmans playing Sigue Sigue Sputnik while we chatted on our brickphones. Some people were a bit busy rioting about their poll tax. Some people were listening to Joy Division. I was mostly doing my homework and thinking about Ewoks. But The Future blunts all edges when it looks back: 2010 will probably be Lady Gaga wrapped in hazard tape and not a lot else.
Still, to spare you, Gentle Teenage Reader, from reliance on Hot Tub Time Machine and the current plastic tat section of TopShop, here are some pointers on the Venables-approved interpretation of Now That’s What I Call Shakespeare!
This is clearly what would be going on in Olivia’s head when she first encounters Cesario: Princess Di hair and muscles:
Meanwhile, the servants are getting restless and Malvolio wants to risk a new look:
And of course, let’s not forget movie classic Tron, which inspires the Etienne & the Illyrians look. (Yes, trailers were that boring in the 80s, and yes, that is Jeff Bridges: Oscar winner.)
I am now going to drink some New Coke and solve my Rubik’s Cube. Ciao!
My Invisible Boyfriend‘s 7 Days of Stuff continues tomorrow!