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Blog: Draft Complete, Re-Writes Commence
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When I say "finished" I do, of course mean that I have produced a script that a) starts b) finishes properly c) does not include any sections that just say "WRITE AMAZING SONG HERE" or "SOMETHING HILARIOUS HAPPENS". It's a proper 30 page FULL SCRIPT of THE LOT - which will doubtless be tweaked, prodded, re-worked and completely FRISKED over the next nine months or so, but IS at least a THING of itself.
It's taken a LONG time to get here - I reported at the end of last month that I was WORKING at it again, but I think the IDEAS started up about a year ago. In that time the story has changed COMPLETELY, largely because I kept thinking "Hang on, what's happening here completely goes against THE POINT of the whole show." I feel like I've been circling a huge mound of PLASTICINE, slapping new bits on, scraping old bits off, moving things around and generally sticking it together without really knowing what was going on. You can imagine my surprise then, when, a few days ago, I FINALLY stood back to have a look at the whole thing for the first time and found that... well, it seems to WORK!
This has been VERY exciting, as I'd been convinced (as I was with Moon Horse and Dinosaur Planet) that it was all a lot of incoherent nonsense with no songs or proper characters in it. NOW, however, I'm beginning to think that Chester Champion, The United Statesman, Fufu The Future Cat, Doc Future and The WomanDroid might be characters I'm prepared to spend the next year or so with!
The whole feeling of HOPE was IMMEASURABLY helped by sending the script to my colleague Mr S Hewitt and him LIKING it. PHEW! BOUYED UP by this I sat down at the weekend and recorded all the songs. Again, I'd thought that these were FLIMSY and BRIEF, so was amazed to listen back and find that there's some CRACKERS in there, with proper choruses, verses, TOONS and Arranagements. Admitedly I HAVE re-used some Old Classics (hem hem) like It Only Works Because You're Here and Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid (I've TRIED to shoe-horn old songs into all the previous shows, this is the first time I've managed it!) but the BRAND NEW ones are pretty good too. I've been singing "My Secret Origin" all morning, and the big anthem "Get Over It" is PERMANENTLY on my Mental Jukebox.
Part of this, I realise, came froms seeing Mr G Osborn at Green Man last month - the sheer ACENESS of his songs is obvious, but I'd never really thought about the way he DOES them before, with a HOOK around every corner, variations in the way he plays each verse and so on. It made me go back to the show and TRY HARDER to make every song a unique thing in itself, rather than a BRIDGE to move the plot from one point to the other.
I didn't succeed at ALL points - Steve has pointed out that the GRAND FINALE of the whole show is an exact copy of "The Birdie Song", so THAT will need re-doing - but I'm very excited about how it's all going to work out, and am already thinking JOLLY THORTS about practicing and previewing it before we do the WORLD PREMIERE at the Leicester Comedy Festival in February. Most exciting of ALL though is THE COSTUMES: we've already got some ideas, with a particularly BRILLIANT idea coming on Sunday from Steve about The United Statesman, and I think we're both looking forward to reaquainting ourselves with London's Tat Shops to get most of the new stuff.
It's all looking like being a lot of fun, and my thoughts ALREADY turn to CHIPS for breakfast in Edinburgh next year. There will, of course, be LOTS MORE about this to come over the next few months, but for now I think I can sum it all up in the immortal words of Chester Champion, The Legend Of Lancashire, which I will be saying A LOT over the next year: "Good eh?"
posted 18/9/2012 by MJ Hibbett
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Would be amazed and delighted if the dramatic conclusion was you chicken-dancing across the stage! The whole audience could join in and it would be absolutely smashing.
posted 18/9/2012 by Gareth Williams
Hmmm! That's not a bad idea - will add it to the DRAMATURGY, thanks!
posted 19/9/2012 by MJ Hibbett
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