Week 1: 3rd - 7th January 2022

 

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! 

Week 2: 10th - 14th January 2022

 

Monday 10th January – THE ROYALS VISIT PEKIN

 

Ah… I see a light at the end of scene 1 (phew.) Yes, it is time to meet the Emperor of China and daughter Jasmine… (no tea jokes as of yet…!) Wishee is still quite tuneful, as Twankey refuses to be called a ‘Commoner’, declaring her and son Wishee are ‘Village People’ (I think the tune is quite obvious here…) But as we all know… Princesses must marry Princes, but where in Pekin can you find a Prince? You can always rely on Wishee to know the answer…! (no spoiler…)

Jasmine refuses to leave Pekin with her Father and confides in the Ensemble. I’m not sure if confiding in the 2nd member of the Ensemble is a good idea though after their first line! (sorry, no spoiler.)

Aladdin overhears his name and rushes on to end scene 1 declaring his love for Jasmine with the Coldplay song ‘A Sky Full of Stars’. (Again, only a suggestion for a song)

Tomorrow sees me scripting scene 2… not as lengthy, so be over in a day!

 

Tuesday 11th January – ABANAZAR’S QUEST

 

As mentioned yesterday, scene 2 is not as lengthy and I have finished it in one day. (Front of tabs scenes are generally short). And what a scene it is! I had a rough idea of how to write the scene, but one’s imagination did overtime and I found myself adding (and laughing at) newly penned jokes! (This is ‘modern’ but not as we know it!)

Well, as the baddie… Abanazar is going to get booed, which leads nicely into the gag… “Let’s get the boos out of the way, so the bar can close early!” Abanazar teasing the audience before he summons the Slave of the Ring.

Again, a couple more ‘modern day’ twists follow; as the Slave gets ‘shirty’ with Abanazar. First, she mocks him for an incident from the prologue (no spoiler!). And then, she tells him to ‘keep his wig on!’

After finding out the boys’ name and where he’ll find him, Abanazar has a problem with discovering the secret password for the cave! (no spoiler, but I think the second part of this ‘clever’ gag might need to come with a warning… Kids, don’t try this at home with your parents!)

Tomorrow just may get a bit messy…

 

Wednesday 12th January - NO SCRIPTING

 

Had a busy day and fell asleep... shall resume tomorrow!

 

Thursday 13th January - HAVING THE LAUNDRY BLUES!

 

Opening scene 3 with the suggested George Formby's Chinese Laundry Blues song.   Before Wishee flops on a chair claiming all the dancing has tired him out!  Wishee strikes up a deal with Twankey saying he'll help her if she helps him finish his crossword.  She obliges to find out he's trying to get her to say that name she refuses to say!  Payback time comes by telling Wishee he has extra work to do.

Wishee still very tuneful blurts out a few more tunes claiming that Twankey's toyboy requires some 'Blue' material! (Blue as in the boyband) He also treats the audience to a bit of Pink!

Well... all this modern stuff has to give way for a bit of tradition pantomime stuff as well, and oh boy... it's about time the kiddies get their sweet treats (as we know throwing sweets out is a big no-no these days... but I have got our hero giving them out on his way to the stage). Once on stage... a quick modern joke is slipped in!  Aladdin finds out that the A.L.D.I. labelled kitty bag is actually the weekly shopping money! (Easy mistake to make seen as ALDI is in our hero's name!)

Before pen down, a little joke thrown in about mixing whites with darks clothes... (no spoiler!)

Tomorrow task is to finish scene 3 which is about to get messy!   

 

Friday 14th January – SLOSH GALORE!

 

Today’s scripting involved the ‘messy’ scene. (Shaving foam manufacturers will never go bankrupt whilst there is panto!) Oh yes, after Aladdin pulls the washing machine door off, there’s only one thing for it… good old-fashioned washing by hand!

But of course… Wishee gets the easiest job whilst getting covered in mess! Just when he thinks he’s covered in it enough… things turn for the worst. They discover there’s a laundry thief…

Have a good weekend!

Week 3: 17th - 21st January 2022

 

Monday 17th January – TYPE UP WEEK DAY 1

 

This week I’ll be typing up all the scenes I’ve penned so far. Today, I typed up the Prologue.

I call this week, “Restaurant Steak”. Basically, it is important in Pantomime writing to not ‘overdo’ it. A Panto needs to run between 2hr 10m – 2hr 30m including an interval due to a child’s attention span.

Like a steak, when you are penning a script, you can’t be sure how well it’s done until you type a scene up. I wanted the Prologue to last about 3 minutes, I have worked out by what I’ve read/been told, my Prologue takes about 3½ minutes. At this stage I am not too concerned, as I can make up that half a minute.

Tomorrow is Scene 1…

 

Tuesday 18th January – TYPE UP WEEK DAY 2

 

Today, typed up Scene 1, had to be mindful of allowing 5 minutes for the two songs in the scene. Was aiming for 15 minutes for scene, I estimate it is 13 minutes long.

Tomorrow, I will be adding all the directions to Scene 1 and typing up Scene 2.

 

Wednesday 19th January - TYPE UP WEEK DAY 3

 

Only managed to type up the directions info for Scene 1.

Tomorrow will be Scene 2.

 

Thursday 20th January  - TYPE UP WEEK DAY 4

 

Today, typed up Scene 2 and added directions into it.  Was aiming for 3 minutes.  I estimated about 2 1/2 minutes.

Tomorrow, will type up Scene 3.

 

Friday 21st January - TYPE UP WEEK DAY 5

 

Typed up the Slosh Scene (Scene 3) Aimed for 15 minutes, I estimate it will last 12 1/2 minutes with one song. 

Will be typing up direction infomation for Scene 3 on Monday.

On schedule with all aspects of Aladdin so far...

Have a great weekend!   

Week 4: 24th - 28th January 2022

 

Monday 24th January – FINAL DAY OF TYPING UP FOR AWHILE

 

Added all the direction instructions to Scene 3 today.

Tomorrow, back to pen and paper scripting…

 

Tuesday 25th January – ABANAZAR MEETS ALADDIN

 

So, today I’ve scripted Scene 4 of Aladdin. It has no comedy bits in, but how they meet is pretty romantic!

Loads of boo’s are guaranteed in this scene.

I think the ‘writer’s cramp’ has missed me… as he returned! (Sorry pal… I haven’t missed you!)

Tomorrow and Thursday, scripting Scene 5…

 

Wednesday 26th January – WOO WHO?

 

Started Scene 5 today, with suggested song choice At The Carwash. (Changing Carwash to Launderette) Before Twankey gets upset in more ways than one… Yep… time to say aww! First, she finds 3 baskets of washing she can’t do, seen as Aladdin took the door off the washer in the slosh scene, before the Emperor insults her by saying her posterior is on the large side! (not to mention how he refuses a little hanky-panky with Twankey! What’s a poor widower to do?)

Now… I wonder if you can guess why I’ve called this entry WOO WHO… Tomorrow, more Scene 5 scripting…

 

Thursday 27th January – SCENE 5 CONTINUES

 

Today I continued scripting Scene 5. After Twankey gets rid of the Emperor who warns her if he catches Aladdin, he’ll be headless! A cup of Jasmine tea didn’t tempt him!

Wishee emerges with yet another basket and tune on his lips! No spoilers, but it’s a classic ‘old pantomime gag’ with a twist!

Said hello to the Cramps!

Tomorrow, Scene 5 will be finished.

 

Friday 28th January – COME WITH ME!

 

Finished Scene 5 off – Abanazar (or as Twankey calls him… A banana!) tricks Aladdin into helping him recover the lamp…

A couple of jokes thrown in… including Pharoah Roche… there we have it!

Next week – Scenes 6 and 7 and the start of typing up the last scenes in Act 1.

Have a good weekend!

Week 5: 31st January - 4th February 2022

 

Monday 31st January – MAGICAL

 

Today I scripted Scene 6. Where Aladdin and Abanazar find themselves outside the cave. This is where I, the script-writer found myself in a dilemma… (doesn’t happen often for me… but just proves I’m human after all!)

They need the password… which is Open Sesame… but alas, the Slave ran out of power in Scene 2 before she could tell Abanazar the magic ‘S’ word… so how is he going to find out?

As I pondered this… a cunning plan hit me!

Tomorrow, final Act 1 Scene.

 

Tuesday 1st February – A GENIE-US END TO ACT 1

 

Having scripted Scene 7 today, I’m reminded why I love this Pantomime so much… it’s the most magical one from the special effect side of things.

Aladdin is about to learn just how much great power he possess holding a ‘rusty old lamp’. But, he also learns not to irritate a Genie with attitude!

Rest of week, typing up Scene 4 and 5, and adding the directions info into them.

 

Wednesday 2nd February – SCENE 4 TYPE-UP + INFO INPUT DAY

 

Typed up Scene 4 and placed direction information into it. Estimated length – 2½ minutes.

Tomorrow, type up Scene 5.

 

Thursday 3rd February – SCENE 5 TYPE-UP DAY

 

Typed up Scene 5. Estimated length – 12 minutes.

Tomorrow, Scene 5 input information day.

 

Friday 4th February – SCENE 5 INFO INPUT DAY

 

All direction information added to Scene 5 today.

Next week. Scenes 6 + 7 typing up and input days. Maybe start on Act 2.

Enjoy the weekend!

 

Week 6: 7th - 11th February 2022

 

Week 6. 7th – 11th February

 

Started this week off by typing up and adding direction info to Scene 6 and 7.   Act 1 has an estimated running time of 1 hour.

Wednesday and Thursday saw me scripting the first Scene in Act 2. Opening the Scene with the suggested song ‘We Like To Party’ by the Vengaboys.

This Scene finds Jasmine rather annoyed because her Father is still insisting she marries a Prince. Enter Wishee who is still very tuneful… (and in love with Jasmine himself) What follows is the start of a musical trip of various song genres. (19 I counted… a mixture of old and new songs, some parodies to fit in.)

It is soon time for Twankey to announce what she has been up to in the Emperor’s bathroom. (cue Wishee to poke fun at her – tunefully of course!) She then announces the arrival of Prince Dinalad. (A disguised Aladdin)

All ends with Aladdin revealing himself to the delight of Jasmine. Also, it includes the proposal from Aladdin with a kiss and the ‘big finish’ (as Wishee calls it…!) to the on-going music routine…

Friday day off – having a long weekend this week.

Have a good weekend!

Week 7: 14th - 18th February 2022

 

Monday 14th February - Act 2 - Scene 2

 

Scripted Scene 2 in Act 2 today.  Abanazar realises Aladdin has escaped the cave, and suddenly realises he doesn't have his Slave to help him.

Cue Abanazar's solo song suggested as 'Reviewing the Situation'.

Another boo joke... All the boos, for the adults, it's the drink talking...!

 

Tuesday 15th and Thursday 17th February – ACT 2 SCENE 3

 

Scripted Scene 3 over these two days.

Opening the scene with the suggested song ‘I Gotta Feeling’ by the Black Eyed Peas.

Emperor questions Aladdin as to how he suddenly became a Prince. (more ‘banana and MP’ references!)

The Genie is summoned to build a new Royal Palace, but Abanazar puts a stop to that… (modernisation of how Abanazar gets his hands on the lamp!)

Wishee tries again to get Twankey to reveal the guys name from Dover… (obviously, she hasn’t fell for it yet…) before he tells us why ‘Easy-Jet’ don’t do Pekin no more… (because they got fed up of peeking through the windows!)

 

Week 8: 21st - 25th February 2022

 

Week 8: 21st – 25th February

 

Monday 21st February – TYPED UP ACT 2 SCENE 8

Wednesday 23rd February – DIRECTION INFO ADDED TO ACT 2 SCENE 8

Thursday 24th February – TYPED UP AND DIRECTION INFO ADDED TO ACT 2 SCENE 9

Week 9: 28th February - 4th March 2022

 

Typed up Scene 10.

Week 10: 7th - 12th March 2022

 

An extra day added in (Saturday 12th) to get the script finished.

 

Wednesday 9th to Friday 11th March - SCENE 12 SCRIPTED, SCENE 10 DIRECTIONS ADDED TO SCENE, SCENE 12 TYPED UP AND DIRECTIONS ADDED.

Saturday 12th March - FINAL TOUCHES.

 

When it comes to the scene before the Songsheet, as a script-writer, I'm quite relieved to know that I'm nearly ready to let the script go on sale. 

As I mentioned in Week 3, you have to be careful on how long each half lasts... and Act 2 is normally a bit shorter than Act 1 (unless they both last 1 hour each - like mine do.)

Scripting Scene 12 has once again been a joy to write... just enough time to shove in the final 'traditional' jokes - ghosties and ghoulies and of course Brussel Sprouts vs Bogeys! 

Obviously, no 'it's behind you' ghost gag has been written... however, in Act 1 Scene 3, the launderette thief does comprise for it. 

So where does the 'ghosties and ghoulies' joke play a part?  A spooky noise is heard before Aladdin comes on.  Twankey remarks how it sounded like a ghost... leading into the famous panto lines... 'I don't wanna be grabbed by the ghosties...' and 'I don't wanna be grabbed by the goo...' Turns out in the end to be Aladdin having a dodgy feeling from his carpet ride!

Innuendos are very minor (One reference) - when Wishee finally gets Twankey to say 'Ben' the guy from Dover... Bend over!  Obviously Twankey's opening spot in Act 1 - (my knickers are always down... in price) is possibly a slight one too!

No Ensemble part in Scene 12... but the song 'Celebration' I have suggested sums up the happy ending of Aladdin and Jasmine's reunion.

For those who are wondering why I haven't blogged about Scenes 11, 13 and 14... very little dialogue in them!

Scene 11: No dialogue - Carpet ride.

Scene 13: Songsheet - director to organise - suggested 'Give me oil in my lamp'.

Scene 14: Wedding - dialogue possibly to boring to blog!

Well... that's it, Aladdin is available from Monday 14th March 2022.

I'll see you in May, as we climb up a beanstalk!

Tim     

Panto Update - 22/05/2022

 

Pantomime Update: 22/05/2022

 

Scene 1:

 

Starting off as always with an opening number fronted by Jack & the Ensemble. I have suggested ‘Let Me Entertain You’ by Robbie Williams.

We are greeted by Jack with a ‘good morning’, before we find out that there isn’t enough meat in the world to fill the stomach of the Giant! (getting a well-known fast food chain joke in…!)

Enter King Bonkers with a proclamation that clearly makes the Ensemble laugh and call him ‘Silly’. However, Jack as all ‘heroes’ do, decides to accept the challenge, even if it does seem impossible!

The Giant booms letting us know that Fleshcreep is on his way to collect the Giant’s taxes.

Enter Fleshcreep to warn the people of Trottsdale of the consequences of not paying the taxes… leading to finding out that Billy (Jack’s brother) made an unusual payment (the kind that only a village idiot would attempt…!)

After a few boos and oh no you won’t responses, Fleshcreep departs.

Enter Tilly on a mobility scooter Jack claims she purchased from Old Fogeys Dot Com.

After finding out Billy made the dumbest payment ever and determined to get her hands on him, Jack, Ensemble and King exit to go and look for him.

Leaving Tilly alone to try and get the boys and girls on her side. Not forgetting having a bit of cheeky banter with a man who as always ends up being the toyboy of the performance.

Tilly leaves on her scooter as Billy enters.

Again, traditional routine involving the old ‘running gag’. A ‘running gag’ is where the children are asked to either look after an item or remind a character to do something every time they come on. Billy needs his fish looking after.

As always, we end Scene 1 with a romantic duet with Jack and Jill. Suggested song ‘Anything Is Possible’ by Will Young.

 

 

Scene 2 Front of tabs scene.

 

Fairy updates us on the plot before Billy introduces us to Daisy a very naughty and sometimes ‘moo-dy’ cow!

 

TO BE CONTINUED…