Brenda Hartley from Porn.Cake reveals her cake logistics…

Every show comes with it’s own interesting staging requirements; that prop that needs to be thrown and then land in a specific spot every night or that wall that has to be kicked and all the hanging pictures, except one, need to fall and smash on the ground.And then be completely struck in a 30 second scene change. All do-able.

For us, it’s all about the Cake. And the devil is in the detail.

Each show requires 10 cakes. All (but one) get eaten (in some cases, the entire cake). And these aren’t your basic sponges. Fully designed, iced and filled, honouring Vanessa’s description, “Luscious, slightly unreal looking”, they are used to support key dramaturgical points in the script.

We’ve been blessed with an ASM that loves baking (Emma White) and have definitely put her skills to use. Some scenes are more naturalistic, and the timing of the ‘eating of the cake slice’ plays a huge role in expressing subtext. Other scenes are almost completely absurd, with cakes being gorged, thrown and just all-round punished by the characters. We introduced actual cake in Week 2 of rehearsal. For scene-work, we’ve been using a play-dough “Cake”, that the actors can cut slices from and then just squish back as we need to.

With a fully carpeted set, the clean-up requirements affect the type of cakes used in each scene. Should a devilishly decadent mud cake laden with ganache be exploded on our set in scene 3 and scene 4 needs to feel like a completely different room – well, you can see where problems can arrive! Myself and our designer, Justin Nardella have made Cake Schedules documenting every detail surrounding the cakes so as to avoid as many surprises as possible.

Speaking of moving into the space, even just the simple storage of the cakes has begged much consideration. With 10 cakes per show and 6 shows a week – that’s 60 cakes a week!! Our wonderfully generous Cake Sponsor (Epicurean Kitchen) will deliver a batch of 10 cakes each afternoon – so that way we can store the creamy ones in our single, 3 shelf fridge.

The treatment of leftover cake from each show has not been completely confirmed – but I can almost guarantee our actors won’t want to take any home in a party-bag! For the Porn. Cake Company, Cake will never be the same again.

Porn.Cake by Vanessa Bates
20 June – 14 July

For more info and to book tickets click here.