• Sarah Baker

Sex, Sabotage, and Scent: A Table Read


In 2013 I was invited by the National Theatre Studio to do a workshop to experiment with 3-camera set-ups and live-editing inspired by traditional TV sitcoms recorded in front of a live studio audience. I was interested in how serial TV shows could possibly be adapted into a live performance. The original script I wrote, Rocco Rosso Riche, is a sequel to the film I made in 2012, Impirioso. Set in the 1980s, this narrative follows the scandalous shenanigans of a family-run fashion label called Impirio Rosso.

Actor, writer, and Renaissance man Orlando Seale helped me shape the live performance at the NTS in 2013, and together we are revisiting the script to make it suitable for a table read at the Experimental Scent Summit (V.2) at the Swedenborg Society in London on April 18th & 19th.

I’ve been walking down memory lane while pouring over materials from 2013. Our performance was loaded with features such as simultaneous broadcasting, period costume, Hollywood actors (Olivia d’Abo and Gale Harold), wireless mics, ass slaps, face slaps, pep talks, the supernatural, and flying hair extensions. There was also a new perfume created and disseminated during the performance—“Deadly Scent Silent Killer by Impirio Rosso.”

Impirio Rosso is the family-run fashion brand I invented for the prequel Impirioso (2012), where (spoiler alert!) ambitious housewife Luccia corroborates with her personal psychic (who is also Luccia’s lover) and chauffeur (who is also Luccia’s secret son—he doesn’t even know) to murder her husband/patriarch/CEO, Rocco Rosso so that Luccia can take over the family business. Now Rocco Rosso’s vengeful ghost is using his supernatural power to control the unsuspecting mind of perfumer Tino, therefore sabotaging the development of Luccia’s new perfume. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Luckily, Luccia’s BFF and self-help guru, Dr. Negroni (played by Orlando Seale), is on hand to make lemonade out of Rocco’s incapacitating lemons. But what are the sacrifices we have to make in order to become a success? How do we determine our highest values? And how can you communicate a perfume through television? Dr. Negroni tries to help Luccia see the truth—that everyone knows she killed her husband—so why not capitalize on it?

“Luccia, people are not stupid! Why not give your target audience something real? People are tired of fantasy. Rocco Rosso Riche: Deadly Scent. Silent Killer. The new perfume by Impirio Rosso.”

The upcoming table read titled Sex, Sabotage, Scent: A Table Read, will to be complete with dark humor, musical interlude, and of course the absurd happenings of the Impirio Rosso clan—minus the TV sitcom a/v set-up (and flying hair extensions.) Full cast to be confirmed, but I am delighted that Orlando will be back to personally bring you insight on how to deal with sex scandals and sabotage—plus a few advertising tips to boot.

Do you have your tickets? They are selling fast so get yours. I would be delighted to see you in a couple of weeks!

Credits: Rocco Rosso Riche at The National Theatre Studio, starring: Olivia d’Abo (The Wonder Years, Conan the Destroyer, Impirioso), Gale Harold (Hollywood Wives, Deadwood, Queer as Folk), Orlando Seale (Pride and Prejudice, Sleepy Hollow), and NT actors Richard Booth, Tamsin Fessey, Zoe Thorne. Perfume by Institute for Art and Olfaction.


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