A Bigger, Darker ‘Celebrity’

London, The Arts

Remember this work-in-progress? A short fringe play what I wrote (God, I shouldn’t even type that – does anyone still remember Morecambe and Wise?) was performed in London in December 2011, and is now about to start workshopping in a very different form as ‘Falling Stars’.

Most of the roles have changed in character, the one constant being the casting of Victoria Jeffries as Helena, and the piece is now double its original length. We expect to stage it in spring next year, but timing depends on Victoria being available while she produces a new play at the Wyndham’s.

This time it will be a much darker-hued comedy about success and failure. What I love about the theatre process is the constant tightening and improvement of dialogue, which is something you can’t replicate in a novel. There are passages I regret in most of my books, and typos drive me nuts. There’s a typo in ‘Hell Train’, courtesy of Spellcheck, that switched ‘etymologist’ for ‘entomologist’, and it will now be there forever – very annoying.

Plays are amorphous. I’ve seen new productions two or three times in the same runs that have had entirely different endings. The desire to keep tinkering is enormous, simply because you can do it. But I hope that this, when it finally emerges, will be the definitive version.

6 comments on “A Bigger, Darker ‘Celebrity’”

  1. Dan Terrell says:

    Years ago a relative of mine told me that writers are never finished with their writing. That to get a piece of work delivered on time, you often have to tear it out of the writer’s machine, and then bar him/her from the set.
    This may be why so many well-regarded novel/short story writers have failed in the motion picture business – a fear of completion; and when they have succeeded in Hollywood have felt as if they’ve sold out.
    The desire to rewrite/revise never ends and there always sections that just don’t seem to have come together and seem to be – as a friend’s relative once said – “a shame for the family”.
    This dis-ease must have something to do with being creative, since creation is making “something out of nothing.” And from nothing anything can be made, if only you’re good enough.(Are the creative born with a Hobb’s particle? It hasn’t been proven, not quite.)The creator of a piece can’t help but see there are unrealized possibilities in a “finished’ piece. A perfect work being as elusive as spotting a unicorn standing quietly among birch trees. (Gad, is that purple. What’s in this morning’s coffee?)
    The great news in this post is typos drive you nuts! Thank you. We typo droppers welcome this admission and are only too welling to share.
    Still better news: 30/31 – allowing for time zone fussiness -days to go until the latest B&M.

  2. snowy says:

    The works of Chaplin, Lloyd and Keyton are still studied and valued. So why not Morecambe and Wise they did some great work, (apart from the films).

    Perhaps it would be of greater concern if you ever said “G-G-Granville, F-Fetch Your Cloth!”

  3. Helen Martin says:

    ‘too welling to share’, Dan?
    One thing that draws me to this blog is the glimpse to be had of behind the scenes creating. It’s like watching a person draw their guts out through their navel and wind them up on a spindle. Horrifying, but magnetic.

  4. Dan Terrell says:

    A will “placed” typo draws commint.

  5. Alan Morgan says:

    That’s really good news. Couldn’t be happier for you.

    Sorry, no piss-taking flippancy this time.

  6. Lynsey Dalladay says:

    I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with it. I loved the original so will look forward to it’s debut in 2013!

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