I do like a bit of showing off so when I was asked to be an actor in a natural disaster training exercise for some Foreign Office types, I jumped at the chance. We were on location in a Sussex forest. Except it wasn’t Sussex; it was Kretinsburg, formerly part of the Soviet bloc, an unruly, God-forsaken place, full of hare lips and polyester tank-tops. There had been a mud-slide and a team from the Foreign Office had flown in to assist any British Nationals in the region. My first role was that of a surly soldier in charge of checking bags at the ‘airport’. This mostly involved me rifling through delegates’ ruck sacks and confiscating Kit Kats. Every now and again, just to mix things up a bit, I’d slide my gun up and down someone’s leg, a sneer dancing over my thin Soviet lips. I then played  ‘Jane’ a British national who had a mouth like a sewer and a missing husband, ‘Alex’ who had asthma and a poor sense of direction. After that, I was driven to ‘Kretinsburg’s General Hospital’ where I played a woman with hypothermia who spent a lot of time pacing the ‘wards’ dressed in bacofoil, moaning a la Lady Macbeth. By the end of the exercise my fingers were ice and my emotions raw. As for the delegates, I believe a few had nervous breakdowns. That’s show business eh!