Before I start, please forgive the possible rambling nature of today’s post. In the last 5 days, I think I managed about 12 hours sleep, and I’ve been under a fair bit of stress. However, I don’t care- I’m now in a position that I can nearly call myself a semi-professional (ie unpaid and not called upon) writer.
Thank you, Google images, I’ll assume the cake and dancing girl are in the post.
So yeah, after being a part of L.O.V.E.– my friend Ben’s play had had to write/direct/star in for his course- wherein I had to act as an awkward 17 year old wrestling fan who makes several references to films of the 1960s and 70s…hang on…
I was certainly happy with it, and I hope that Ben gets the marks he deserves.
Now, the rest of the weekend was filled with the opening of a new art-performance-cafe place in town, Korova. As part of the opening weekend, there was a 24-hour play festival. For those who haven’t come across one of these before (I hadn’t, to be fair), it’s pretty self-explanatory: 5 writers get 3 actors each, and have to write a 10-15 minutes long piece…in less than 7 hours. Task started at midnight, everything needed to be handed in by 7am.
As if I needed that long…
Yeah, I was done before 5am, to the point where I went for a McDonald’s breakfast. Word of advice- if you plan to write a 15 minute long play overnight, drink at least 3 energy drinks. Another word of advice- when you’re done, do not think a black coffee is a good idea. It is not. I ended up passing out in my room, only to wake up about an hour later with serious stomach cramps.
Very classy, I know.
There was one thing that I was fairly impressed with- in the space of 4 hours, I’d rattled out a 15-page script that when I timed myself reading, clocked in at 11 minutes 20 seconds. That doesn’t sound too bad…until it was discovered that on stage, it lasted about 20 minutes. Yeah, I’d written the Korova version of Das Boot.
It was a pretty good night, with a fair amount of variety within the different showlets (yeah, I’m using that. It sounds about right.), ranging from long comedy sketches, through to my piece of theatre- a 3 man play involving the alteration of a will, a murderous doctor and a mysterious substance. Due to having no part in the rehearsals/directing (once I had written it, I was done), I had no idea whether it would work. Naturally, rather nervous watching it.
It felt claustrophobic- I could feel members of the audience leaning in, watching and listening intently. It wasn’t a comedy per se, but there were moments when the audience were giggling a little. But the applause at the end was amazing. I couldn’t believe how much people liked it.
This has inspired my little bit.
I’m going to create a sketch show.
Yep- I’ll repeat that- I’m going to create a sketch show. Using the material from the UCLan Comedy Revue, the offcuts (or B-sides, if you will) that weren’t used, others that didn’t get finished and whatever else my caffeine-addled mind can conjure up.
I want to create this completely independently, and I’ve assembled a crack team to assist me.
Hang on. Weren’t you making a sitcom before? What are you up to, you whiny, hipsteresque fop?
Yes, I was. Until I found out that David Jason- yeah, Del Boy Trotter (or Inspector Frost, if you prefer) had a very similar idea, and had a pilot episode commissioned- with the strong possibility of a full series), concerning a failing funeral directors in Huddersfield. Hilarity ensues as things go wrong, basically.
Now, the problem here is twofold on my part:
A)- it gets made, it does fairly well critically/the serfs love it à la Mrs. Brown’s Boys. There’s no way that any other TV network, least of all the BBC, will put on a show with a similar initial premise, especially considering that Pearly Gates has star power, a name that will get a casual audience giving it a try, at least. Dead Men Tell No Tales, barring some minor miracle, doesn’t have that. It’ll be seen as some arty-farty uni student’s knockoff version.
B)- The pilot crashes and burns, or is made but critically panned. There’s no way that the BBC- although maybe a better chance elsewhere- will try again with a similarly-premised show, no matter how different the story or the humour style might be.
(I would write a point about sending feces in a shoebox here, but I’m scared of the legal repercussions. Therefore, please accept this intermission:
Ah. You want a return to ‘traditional, family comedies of the 1970s?’ so, would that include Love Thy Neighbour, Mind Your Language (Google them) and a return of the three-day week?
Nah. Not for me.
So, I’m writing a sketch show in order to get interest in my writing, while also setting up an Indiegogo account in the hope of raising some funds.
I’m keeping it all very ‘behind closed doors’ for now- so for the time being, no extracts or anything about the sketches. Sorry.
It’ll all be worth it in the end.
PS- Sorry about the lack of doodles- I’ve lost my notebook.