Monday 3rd January. BANK HOLIDAY
Bank Holiday, so no script-writing happened. Like many people I try to take the Bank Holidays off. Not that I get paid for script-writing (unless someone buys my finished scripts of course! Mentioning no names, but Tim Rutherford... get ya hands in ya pockets and give the punters a great night out!) Even if I'm lucky enough to sell my scripts, the money goes to charity - This year's charity is Kidscape.
Tuesday 4th January. THE PROLOGUE BEGINS
So with pen and paper and a one and a half hour timer, it was time to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start according to Julie Andrews...) The Prologue - of course, some say that the prologue delays the pantomime... but we all need a plot to go along with! And of course like good old fashioned pantomime it usually starts with a pyro for the Fairy (or Slave of the Ring in this case) and menacing music for the Baddie (Abanazar). Woah... I said, "Usually". I start with a gong and audience interaction with the Slave. (Modern... yet still not going adrift off the storyline.) Abanazar does appear to menacing music, but a pyro is used for a different part of the scene... sorry, no spoilers! (again modern!)
I love writing Aladdin for one simple reason, it is possibly the only pantomime (my opinion) where you can get a good 'educational dig' (mainly at the parents) about teaching their children manners. (still too many children are not taught 'please' and 'thank you') within the first five minutes. As we know, Abanazar demands to know the whereabouts of the magical lamp, however, in my script, the Slave requires a certain level of manners (asking for the 'p' word.) Obviously Abanazar gets annoyed and responds... "I don't need to use it as I'm not ordering a pizza." (hence - Abanazar thinks the 'p' word is 'pizza', which in turn gives the audience a chance of teaching Abanazar some manners.)
Before I knew it... the one and a half hours was up! Oh well, time to ditch the timer and finish the prologue tomorrow!
Wednesday 5th January - TIME TO VISIT OLD PEKIN
No one and a half timer deadline, I could finish when I wanted (being a disabled writer having to do writing on the floor, I get more than 'writer's cramp' I can tell you!)
After finishing off the prologue, (which included the 'pyro' I mentioned yesterday - still no spoilers!) It was time to start writing Scene 1. Probably the longest scene to write (due to introducing the other characters in the show.) Starting off with the Opening number, I have suggested Shakira's 'Whenever, Wherever' (most songs are optional, but I do have a few 'preset' ones... more on those as the blog continues.) Aladdin and the Ensemble front the Opening number. I always include the Ensemble in the dialogue, yet in scene 1 their contribution is quite late on. (this was my intention). Normally, Wishee Washee gets the 'in my gang' part, however, this falls into the hands of Aladdin in my script (which dominated a lot of my time today!) Let's just say, it includes a lot of 'actions' and 'famous TV noises'. I wonder if you can guess the noises!
My 'writer's cramp' issues started to attack, so it was 'pen down' until tomorrow!
Thursday 6th January - BACK IN PEKIN - MEETING ETTY TWANKEY
So, today started with Aladdin still getting the kids in his gang! (persistant or what?) After becoming reasonably satisfied, he opens up and declares he's in love. (foolish boy!) cue for the Ensemble to get involved warning him he risks being headless! (leading to a very funny one-liner with appropriate sound effects!) Aladdin ensures them he'll be careful... unlike his Ma!
Time to introduce the big bloke in a dress... Etty Twankey on her mobility scooter! (cue the usual crash sound effects!) This is definitely the part where the men in the audience cringe! Etty is after a toyboy and will get her man quite quickly in my script! No-one can refuse a lady who always has her knickers down... (in price of course!) After finding out his name and where he has come from, she obviously declares him her toyboy for the show! (nothing new - just old pantomime tradition that hits the spot every time!)
And that is where I got my old 'attacking' friend back. So, until tomorrow...
Friday 7th January - RETURNING TO PEKIN TO MEET WISHEE.
Twankey now in love with her new fella, tells the audience where she works and lives with her two sons. Making out that it is a 'single woman job' as Aladdin is too busy daydreaming and Wishee is, well... just Wishee! She asks if anyone has seen Wishee, before putting in the one-liner, "Well, when you do... you'll say... I wishee I hadn't!" (and yes, I do pen my own jokes... as well!)
Here comes a very tuneful Wishee... I won't tell you the song he comes on with.. but it involves a 'pheasant' gag. (and not the old pheasant gag routine - which I have never seen.) Which ends up with Twankey telling him to 'grow up stupid'... and we all know the reply! This is where there's a play on people and places names that ends up with Twankey refusing to say a name! Whilst Wishee is adamant he'll get her to say it by the end of the show! (But will he?)
There's the 'writer's cramp' telling me my 4 day script-writing week is over.
Have a good weekend!