Finally, you’ve made it. You’ve struggled through dawn rehearsals, hours spent learning lines, and hundreds of pounds wasted on inspirational G & Ts. This is it, the culmination of all your momentous efforts: the after-show party. Already, you’ve stood outside the theatre greeting the droves of adoring fans as they leave, teary-eyed and trembling after the emotional battering of your performance. The director’s reign of terror is at last over and all of a sudden, instead of insults, it’s fake smiles, flowers and great big thankyous. The drink will flow, the cast will be off their proverbial faces, the previously delicate sexual politics will disintegrate to lustful, wanton anarchy and the lighting technician will be sitting in the corner wishing he were more talented.
First, all of the long-repressed animosities of the past term gets gleefully stirred up, and then the girl whose part wasn’t quite big enough for her ego smashes her Lambrini against the wall, in a fit of jealous pique, and unceremoniously bottles Desdemona. This is where drinking games really come into their own: what’s the point in spinning the bottle and being forced to kiss someone you’re already comfortable with? It’s all about the slight awkwardness only to be overcome by getting semi-naked, furiously snogging and admitting far more about yourself than you ever would to a friend, safe in the knowledge that out of the context of college life, you are essentially anonymous.
There is one even more important function of the after-show party, however. Now, at last, after so many fruitless hours of longing; meaningful, lingering glances and erotically-charged chit-chat, you’ll get your one opportunity to fulfill your fantasies, seduce the protagonist and hopefully get him to drop trou. At least, if it all goes to plan.
The problem is, however, it never does go to plan. Inevitably, he’s got a girlfriend, and even though it became increasingly evident that he was enjoying that passionate, on-stage kiss a little too much, for some reason, it’s a different world off-stage. One where, sadly, passion doesn’t reign. So, dejected, drunk and full of the bitterness of cruel rejection, you cut your losses, choose the easy option and go for the lighting technician instead.