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Double Dare

Another self-reflexive musing on authorship, manipulation and the fiction/reality border from Dennis Potter, parachuted into the gap left by the cancellation of Brimstone and Treacle. Inspiration-starved playwright Alan Dobie (made up in a very Pottereque image) spends an afternoon in a hotel with actress Kika Markham taking the role of a call-girl, as “research” for his new play. After a few drinks, fantasy and reality inevitably overlap, as Markham’s double, in a red wig, appears in the hotel as a real life call-girl who is eventually smothered to death by an impotent, sex-starved businessman, a crime which Dobie hears, horrified, through the wall of his adjoining room, and narrates (invents?) to the “real” Markham. The final scene shows Markham in Dobie’s room, apparently strangled (presumably by Dobie). Fantasy and reality have clearly ruptured their borders with lethal consequences. Kika Markham had, earlier, been summoned to see Potter to help with just such a case of writer’s block. Shot entirely on film in a specially-constructed set in the old Ealing studios.

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