When shown at the Edinburgh Festival, this caused a minor furore over its supposed misogyny; and indeed its story of radio personality Fats Bannerman (McNeice), writer and presenter of a bland romantic costume serial, far outdoes John Fowles' The Collector as an instance of ultimate male possessiveness of the female object. When Fats is accused in an interview of escapism, the programme begins to darken; and when he comes across and takes in a catatonic rape victim (Nethercote), it gets farther and farther out (Gothic vampires, improvised sax doodlings), as does his mental state, finally erupting in (predictably phallic) violence. Accompanying Fats' decline is some increasingly obvious visual and aural symbolism: attempts to strangle himself with his own tape recordings, regression to a childhood stammer. Sick and disturbing.
Cast and crew