Shortly – well, as soon as I figure out the technicalities involved – I’m going to publish my series of ‘completely mad cautionary tales’ on Kindle. Perilous Tales (as they are collectively known) will be coming to your kindle soon, illustrated by a really good, as yet secret, illustrator and tugging relentlessly away at your sleeve wanting to be performed (they do like to be performed). They are being performed in Canada this month and I was delighted when the director phoned me (having carefully checked that it wasn’t the middle of the night here) to say that he’d been looking for something a little ‘different’ (not sure that was the word he used … moving on) and was so glad he’d come across the Offbeat plays. I was so pleased! If anyone ever phones and says ‘I’m glad I found your plays they’re so middle of the road‘ I shall stop immediately and get help. Or just stop. Maybe have a small drink.
I’m quite excited about this. I just need to get through the ‘getting your book ready to be published on Kindle section’ and after I’ve spent days on that bit it will only take 5 minutes to do (or so it says in the ‘How to publish your book on Kindle’ section). So … let me tell you about the perils in Perilous Tales ….
I have no idea at all why I decided to write Perilous Tales. Isn’t that the best way though? Just plough on in a haze of foggy confusion following some instinct you hope has a grain of artistic merit. I do that all the time. No idea where I’m going, just driven to express some crazy thought that’s hijacked my mind and requires to be exorcised (or is that exercised?) Anyway, I ended up writing four different sketches that could be performed by a group of around 14 (could be more or less, multi-roling is good in this one). I had a group I was writing for and this always helps. I could see them performing it and visualise what might be going on. I believe that you should write exactly what you see in your mind without worrying too much about the constraints of performing on stage. So having someone jump from a tree, roll down a hill and land on a giant nail didn’t worry me (and it was surprising easy to do on stage as it happened). That particular story was called Gorgeous Gerald and the Ghost. I wrote it in rhyme. I don’t think the cast ever really forgave me for that. You can read about it on the post called Watch Out for Sneaky Ghosts if you want to. I won’t repeat it all here – but it remains one of my favourites!
But first of all I wrote a sketch about a couple who were really happy – Sibyl and Cedric’s Tale. They had everything. But .. (peril closing in) … they were so scared of losing their happiness that they withdrew from the world, closing their doors, their minds and eventually their hearts as they lost faith in their ability to maintain happiness. Doesn’t sound very funny does it! It was rather amusing though. They lived their whole life with suspicious, mean minds uncertain as to whether or not the other had thrown their happiness away. It ends badly of course – but then perilous tales always do.
Then there was the tale of Loki’s Lament – about a wonderfully spoilt Princess who only had to point to get anything she wanted. She was great fun (what a peachy part for a girl who likes to shout). One day she hears a girl singing a song and wants it for herself. But the song isn’t hers and the girl explains that everyone has ‘a song’ (as in a metaphor for a pathway in life – or a dominant theme/event that colours your life) and she must wait for hers. But she can’t wait and after much shouting and defiant demands she receives her song far too soon. It isn’t the dream of riches and priviledge she assumed was hers by right. It ends badly.
The last tale – The Grimble’s Last Game – was a complete hoot! Ever been frustrated by the astonishing amount of time teenagers can play computer games for? This one was written for addicted gamers and involves a very odd game where the gamers in question are transported to a strange world of games where there are no cheats or instructions and you have to use your initiative. There are 5 levels but only 4 of them work – there’s the ‘Apathy Level’ (we couldn’t be bothered to do that one), the ‘Improvise a Scene before the ceiling descends and the walls close in and crush you Level’ (that was fun), the Jousting Level (yes, jousting) and finally the ‘Disco Level’. It ends badly.
Have a read! It’s all here in its brazen daftness. Or … you could wait for the Kindle version with illustrations …..