Always fascinated by how writers get their inspiration particularly contemporary playwrights and had a sort of moment of inspiration myself the other evening. I say 'sort of' because I have neither the skill or talent to write a play.
I had flicked on Radio 4 while I was doing the washing up and there was a program about the internet and the law. The panel were having a discussion about the responsibility of the likes of Google when it comes to censoring porn.
One of the guests was a lawyer whose area of work was representing the porn industry. As I listened to him clinically defending rape porn and simulated child pornography - if all parties are consenting and of legal age then no law has been broken - it made me wonder about the moral implications of what he was defending and what sort of person he was.
Lawyers have to defend suspected criminals, even when evidence against them is seemingly incontrovertible (look at the April Jones murder) so you would have to have or develop a certain mindset in order to do your work but how much does that filter into their persona outside the courtroom? Is the inner moral code or emotion temporarily pushed into submission, does it play on the conscience? When that porn industry lawyer is defending simulated rape porn is he surpressing a feeling of repulsion?
I know that some big media companies have lawyers who read their publications from cover to cover to make sure there is nothing libellous so would a porn lawyer have to watch a certain amount to determine its legality? Has the lawyer of my fictional play become desensitised to it? Does he talk about his work to anyone and what do they think?
Moral codes in a modern setting are often explored in contemporary theatre; Lucy Kirkwood's NSFW last year looked at lad mags vs women's glossy's and their portrayal of woman, for example and I think a porn industry lawyer would certainly make for a fascinating character study.
So come on, any takers out there in the world of playwrights? I look forward to seeing it at the Royal Court Upstairs or Soho Theatre sometime in the future.