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Douglas Kennedy’s Memoir Series.

Gold Coast theatre reviewer and commentator, Douglas Kennedy, has a new role - conducting the Memoir Class for the Southport Branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A).

U3A Southport welcomes all over 50s, retirees and seniors to join so their memoir stories cover many decades.

One of the class exercises is to produce a 400-600 word memoir on a different theme at each session to be read to the group.

As he asked all members to take part in the exercise, Douglas thought it only fair that he also made a contribution.

In keeping with Eric Scott’s Absolute Theatre’s commitment to the world of arts and entertainment Douglas has agreed to make his memoirs in these areas available on a occasional basis.

Let’s go to the pictures for some X-cellent fun.

Young boys down the ages have jumped at the chance to break the rules and cross a line. So living in the English Midlands in the 1960s my pal and I were no different.

This was the magnificent era of Pommy pop, when we were reminded that England swings like a pendulum do, while Bobbies were on bicycles two by two.

Love and music were in the air, but while the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and their cronies, were getting their affection for free, such arrangements were still contractual in the behind-the-times regions.

If a couple wanted more in their relationship than a Sunday walk in the park the bond had to be formally signed and sealed.

Meanwhile, in most cases, those of us caught in that awkward age of adolescence, between childhood and manhood, barely spoke to those mysterious others. Too frightened.

But we did know that all sorts of things happened on the big screen if you could watch a daring X-rated film.

In post-war Britain there were the movies forbidden for those of us under 16 and therefore must coveted.

We knew rude things happened in X films – X for explicit – and girls were a vital component . So when an X film finally came to our town we were determined to grab a piece of the action.

On one hand we were small and under age, but on the other we were wiry and cunning as generations had been before us. So we figured out a way to sneak into the cinema and slide into out-of-the way seats after the lights dimmed.

We settled down to enjoy our forbidden fruit and learn all about that naughty stuff, which to date had been denied us.

We were, however, shocked to learn that the 1961 X-rated war movie, The Long and the Short and the Tall, not only was bereft of rude bits, but didn’t even have girls. It was about half a dozen blokes crawling through the Malaysian jungle, swearing at each other, and bumping off the occasional Jap.

“There’s more going on in my brother’s mags under his bed,” whispered my mate.

“I think we should ask for our money back,” I quipped and we began to giggle.

These X-rated movies in small towns were not as commercial as more accessible A & U--rated films. So another X-rated move didn’t come around for a long time.

As for me and my mate? Quiet frankly, my dears, we didn’t give a damn.

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