Former Camden Town Hall boss Chris Mellor writes raunchy play based on tales from his ex-colleagues

Former Camden Town Hall boss Chris Mellor

Published: 08 September 2011

BY day, they file paperwork. By night, they pick up men in saunas, have sex in garages and do it in front of Coronation Street.

These are the sex lives of Camden Town Hall employees, according to a former top-ranking officer who has laid bare  the claimed carrying-on of some of his former colleagues in a forthcoming play.
Chris Mellor, who was the council’s senior arts manager for three years, lost his job last month in “departmental restructuring” brought  on by budget cuts. 
But the 50-year-old, who lives in Archway, has responded by exposing the raunch and razzle behind the doors at the Town Hall in The Virginity Project, a collaboration with For the First Time author Kate Monro, that is  billed as “The Vagina Monologues with more testosterone”.
From next month audiences at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden can hear the lurid details of how the borough’s bureaucrats lost their virginity, with actors repeating the “kinky banter” heard in council corridors.

The licensing department in particular have a reputation as “go-ers”, said Mr Mellor.

He said the most  recent round of job cuts had brought council employees closer together and encouraged them to open up to one another.
“Facing unemployment you get a lot closer to your colleagues,” said Mr Mellor. “You use the office sex talk to bond and help each other through it. I thought I should share that with a wider audience. 
“I don’t know if the council cuts have driven me into being a theatre sex worker, but it may open an opportunity of creative therapy work for the unemployed.”
The council’s website describes its managers as “vital for success” and “essential for ‘making things happen on the ground’”. 
Mr Mellor is now using the strategic and development skills he honed at the Town Hall to talk about other things that happened on the ground – and on one occasion in the back of a former teacher’s car – involving six current or former Camden employees.

Names have been changed to spare their blushes.

Mr Mellor described the working environment in Camden Town Hall as “very female orientated” where colleagues “talked frankly about sex” and frequently swapped tales of their “latest conquests”.

But he said he would need more samples to confirm the sexual habits of different departments. “Maybe I should go back to the council and ask them for a grant,” he said.

Camden Council is expected to cut 1,000 jobs as it tries to bridge a £80-£100million budget deficit triggered by government public sector cuts.
A council spokeswoman declined to comment on individual cases of redundancy – or virginity – adding: “We are currently undertaking an efficiency programme that will deliver over £40m of savings.

As part of this work some teams are being restruc­tured to enable the continua­tion of the services our residents need and value.

The council is committed to minim­ising com­pulsory redun­dancies although these are some­times regret­tably unavoid­able.”

The losers' stories:
Town Hall colleagues’ tales of losing their virginity that Mr Mellor says he based his play around, included:
• One heterosexual couple lost their virginity in a garage containing an old rusty banger, guarded by a friend, because their parents wouldn’t let either into the house.
• One gay woman lost her virginity to a former sports teacher whilst on her way to a tennis match in her car.
• A gay guy, aged 28, was picked up in a sauna and taken back to a flat, and lost his virginity to a ‘bear of a man’ throughout an omnibus edition of Coronation Street.



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