Since Lolita is a story about pedophilia, I’m going to tell a story about pedophilia.
Doing Vilification Tennis at the Renaissance Festival is a dicey proposition. We are doing a show that is pretty vile and vulgar and the audience likes it that way. However, we are doing it at a venue that is advertised as appropriate for all ages. That means you have to walk a pretty mean balancing act between offensive humor and trying to ensure parents who are walking by don’t have to explain too much to their kids later. Because parents hate that. More on that later.
Most days I think we do an admirable job of walking that tighrope. Every now and again, though, there is a complaint. I take the complaints seriously and I do my best to keep the performers from getting out of hand. Our show is best if we flirt with the line without merrily skipping across it.
On occasion, we get an instruction from the festival management about the kind of material they would like us to avoid. Most of the time, the request is a little odd and when I ask for clarification, I find it was one joke that caused the problem.