In early 2005, James Alexander and Joshua Rous started working on an idea for a play which had been in James’ mind for a couple of years. It was the simple concept of a conversation about love, faith, honesty and deceit between a cynic and a romantic.
After spending a great deal of time researching their scenario and more importantly the characters, they started putting together a play that offers a voyeuristic, revealing glimpse into the minds of both the characters, Monique, a high class call girl and Thomas, her conservative, Christian client.
Not many people are familiar with the world of high class escorts. As opposed to the typical girl on the street, these ladies are generally intelligent, high earning courtesans who have entered this line of work by choice rather than by circumstance.
Dr Elna McIntosh, a renowned clinical sexologist, who worked for 5 years with the ladies at the notorious ‘Ranch’ in Johannesburg, and sexologist, Marlene Wasserman, were a vital gateway of insight into the character of Monique. The team has also spent a lot of time talking to working girls in Johannesburg, most of whom were very willing to share some of the more intimate details of the life of Monique. They also offered insightful views into the minds of their clients, having encountered more than one Thomas in their careers.
3 months and 12 drafts later, Discreet Upmarket 24/7 hit the stage and was an instant success. The play went on to tour Pretoria, Grahamstown, Kimberley and Oudtshoorn in both English and Afrikaans, consistently reaching into the hearts and minds of audiences with its poignant honesty.
It seemed a simple step to the next logical conclusion: “Let’s let this be what it was always supposed to be – a full length feature film.” All heads around the table nodded and it was agreed that in April of 2007, Discreet would be filmed.