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"As The Bishop Said"
Back with a Bang, Des Bishop discusses his most technical show to date and how Alcoholics Anonymous inspired an upcoming project.
Dave Hanratty, 01 Oct 2012
Fully aware that his intentions for a fun show have resulted in arguably his most technical outing to date, Bishop offers a playful shake of the head. That “four or five goes” logic proved applicable to the show as a whole. Technical glitches were ironed out and friends such as David O’Doherty and Michael Mee provided helpful assistance, tightening things up. Perhaps though, his most interesting collaboration to date has yet to be fully realised.
“There’s an Australian comedian called Felicity Ward. In her last show she talked a lot about her struggles with booze and giving it up, so myself and her are in cahoots together about an idea for a play that is funny but not that funny about a relationship between a man and a woman in Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s not an AA thing, but it uses AA as a device because the entire play is them sharing about their relationship. You never see them interact with each other.”
Having spent time in AA, what does Des think of how it is depicted in entertainment?
“There’s not that much depiction of it, really. It’s always just quick through the whole thing. People end up writing about AA at a time when either they have experienced it and don’t like it and are a bit critical of it or they’re sober maybe two or three years, they’re in the midst of finally being happy for the first time in years and it tends to be a little bit of rose-tinted glasses because they think AA is just the best thing ever. I mean, I love AA, I’m not critical of it. At the same time, it’s 17 years since I fuckin’ drank. I’m an adult now and I finished my adolescence in AA. I became a man living in AA and now I’m a nearly 37-year-old man with the wisdom of life’s experience so obviously I don’t see things entirely through the thing of, ‘AA is life’. And actually, this play is nothing to do with booze. It’s to do with the dysfunction of addiction. It’s really about relationships and obsession which is a problem for a lot of people, not just people in AA.”