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[Act V of Out Cast Theatre‘s “Monstrous Acts.” Scene: a prison cell with two naked men seated on straw, looking like animals languishing in a zoo enclosure.]

Gilles de Rais (Kevin Dee): Why, we must all know you better than your own wife does by now. Yet I have still not learned your name.

Sebastian (Mathew Gelsumini): [maintains gloomy silence]

Gilles: Come now, we are waiting to be executed – we can be at least civil to one another.

Sebastian: Very well, sir. I am the simple peasant Sebastian. I have been senselessly imprisoned in this cruel place. Society cannot be expected to recognise my intrinsic goodness. Now, I wait to die.

Gilles: I find it highly troubling that our society refuses to appreciate your goodness. But come, things are slowing down. Why don’t you cocktease the audience for a bit?

[Sebastian rubs his naked arse in the faces of the front row. Stirring orchestral music plays. They have possibly misunderstood – the image used in this year’s Tychy@ the Fringe artwork is supposed to represent an example of a terrible Fringe play, not a standard of excellence. Despite awaiting execution, Gilles and Sebastian are now making love with the exuberance of a couple on their honeymoon.]

Gilles: We will soon be executed. Now I shall reveal who I am.

Sebastian: Sir?

Gilles: Yes, I am no less than Gilles de Rais – the epic fifteenth-century serial killer who sodomised and mutilated over two hundred babies.

Sebastian: Why sir, that is terrible – almost as bad as my acting.

Gilles: Yes, mass infanticide is a deeply troubling and regrettable habit for me, rather like absent-mindedly leaving the toilet seat up. It is inexplicable why I do it.

Sebastian: Will it hurt, the execution?

Gilles: Well, considering that we are both made of balsa wood, it cannot hurt very much. Just keep on with your fake limp and unconvincing moans of pain and maybe you’ll get a sick note and spend your execution on the bench. Oh but can you ever forgive me, my love? Hopefully you are too dim to grasp the magnitude of my crimes…

Sebastian: Near, far, wherever you are I believe that the heart does go on. Once more you open the door and you’re here in my heart and my heart will go on and on.

Gilles: You’re here, there’s nothing I fear and I know that my heart will go on… But the audience’s morale seems to be flagging – maybe you should get your arse out again.

Tychy (from the audience): Err… if you still need an executioner, I’m pretty handy with an axe…

[Next week: In a new Out Cast Theatre production, we see the lighter side of Ian Brady as he wins the heart of a cute young prison guard.]

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