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Uh, oh

December 8, 2022

Well, the newsletter is more or less done. The “less” being down to the fact that I apparently did not save the 2023 production calendar, so I cannot do the Mark Your Calendar section.

I’ve swapped our normal Friday walk day for today, seeing as the power’s off anyway. I thought I might spend the rest of the day having another look at the “scene” I wrote for the playwriting workshop last year, which might just have the makings of a very short play for the one-act play festival in the spring.

As you may or may not have noticed, even if the power and communications outage meant that I could not post daily, I have indeed been writing something every day since December 1. Yes, I decided last month that I was going to attempt to write something – anything – every day for this month. I really don’t have much to report or say today, so, in order to post something later when the power eventually comes back on, I thought I’d share this bit from the newsletter

There you go. It’s almost like being at the panto, isn’t it? 

I sent Robin Bailes an email on Tuesday, describing the past week and all the performance challenges we overcame. In response he said: “That’s sounds incredible. These are the shows you remember, the ones that come through adversity.” True dat. No one involved is ever going to forget that weekend.

In another email exchange a little while ago I told him he was really going to have to write another panto for us. At the time he pointed out that, with his one-man band publisher retiring last year it wasn’t very practical from a financial point of view to spend the time writing a panto for one group on a small island who would only be doing four or five performances. In yesterday’s email he said he’d decided he was up for it. Not only that, but he actually wouldn’t mind coming here for the show.

Uh, oh. As I’m sure I’ve previously written, I didn’t really touch a word in Will Shakespeare The Panto, the first one I directed (and the last one he wrote). I did change a few things in Robin Hood and his Merry Men, but not much. However, I did do quite a bit of editing on The Return of Robin Hood (practically rewrote the second act) and Ali Baba (ditto). I did confess to him this year that I’d taken quite a few liberties with Cinderella, although I doubt he realised quite how many. (Adding Evie as a new character and the romances between her and Buttons and between the baron and the fairy godmother to name just two.) Of course the bones are there with all his pantos, which is why I like his scripts, but he don’t half put in a lot of dross – songs that are way too long, the seemingly (to him at least) compulsory audience singalong. In my head I estimated that I’d rewritten at least 40% of Cinderella, although it turns out, as I discovered when I went back to look at the original script a couple of weeks ago, that what I’d actually done was throw out about 25% of it (the dross) and added about 15%. Still, rather a lot of changes.

So, what do I do now that he’s made this offer? I mean, if he’s serious (and I think he is) about actually coming here to see the next show? Do I confess quite how many liberties I’ve taken, send him a copy of the Cinderella script we actually used? Who knows? Maybe he’d actually agree that my version was better. Maybe we could work on a script together? (Wouldn’t that be fun?) Or – and this is a definite possibility – he might be absolutely furious. What to do? 

Oh, look, I’ve actually written a full post after all. (Not that I can actually post it until this evening when the power’s back on.) And I still have an hour before I need to leave to meet Joe and Georgie. Time to have a peek at Ruby Red Lipstick.

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