A New Direction…



Sebastian sat back in his chair and frowned as he read the latest email from Rupert Etherington-Smythe regarding important changes to the Mogwash pantomime script. He believed he had followed Rupert’s original instructions as best he could – the story revolved around a series of clues that would guide the hero to a long lost fortune and, he had set the action in the Australian outback so that the mountain of corks that had recently clogged up the recycling centre in the car park could be used in some sort of meaningful way and, so that Rupert’s cousin, Kate, could showcase her professional technique on the didgeridoo. Rupert had stressed that there was no point in the villagers having 24hr access to a didgeridoo if nobody was prepared to use it.
Sebastian twitched and reached for his whiskey; he had spent all of the summer simmering over the story line, steaming up the scenes, and boiling the plot, in an effort to produce a script worthy of production on the Mogwash stage; with his creative juices wrung dry, he had presented Rupert with his final draft: ‘Walkabout’ – A Constructive Critique of Australian Social Identity 1918 – 1945.
It appeared that Rupert had been less than impressed with his efforts and was particularly perturbed regarding a gratuitously violent scene depicting the leading lady being hit over the head with a stray Campari bottle, leaving her to wander in an aimless fashion through flimsy stage sets as though she was an extra in a popular soap opera, before dying ungraciously in a heap. Rupert believed that the leading lady should linger longer that Act I, scene II… and she should at least exist to the very end of the pantomime… it was fine to tinker with traditional narrative structure, but screwing it up completely and then stamping on it was probably a tinker too far for the villagers of Mogwash.
Sebastian gulped the dregs of his whiskey, hunched over his keyboard, and began his edits.

Meanwhile, somewhere in 2014, Scarlet began to breathe.


18 thoughts on “A New Direction…

  1. Peter Wells aka Countingducks

    I also think some thought should be given to the bottle used in the classy head-bashing scene. May I suggest a bottle recently drained of a Puligny Montrachet 2009, some drops of which might dribble down from her forehead to her mouth, giving her a chance to remark on the delicious aromatic qualities of the vintage shortly before losing consciousness.

    1. Scarlet Post author

      If only, Mr Wells, if only… sadly, I spout from a less impressive region where Campari IS the height of sophistication. Sigh.
      I took inspiration for my leading lady from this:-
      Campari Advert
      Lorraine Chase probably taught me how to speak 🙂

      1. Scarlet Post author

        Thank you for saying this, Mr Wells. I find writing frustrating and rewarding in equal measure!
        I am getting back into it again after a major 2 year sulk.
        Thank you!

  2. lx

    For my next trip to the UK, I had hoped to see one of Shakespeare’s stage plays, preferably Macbeth. Junk that idea! I must see Walkabout!

    Are comp tickets available to loyal readers?

      1. Scarlet Post author

        I think I now know more about The making of Apocalypse Now, than I ever did before! I have been reading! Errrr… I shall leave it there, Mr Lax!

  3. dinahmow

    Just a tiny point…in the Outback (which, as you know, is just out the back from where I live) I very much doubt they even know what Campari is.They would, however , been *very* familiar with the Darwin Stubby http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Darwin_stubby.jpg, which certainly, even empty, is big enough to clout a leading lady (sheila, as she’d be known hereabouts)
    I wish the Mogwashians huge success and do hope you’ll bring it out here for us culture-deprived Colonials.

    1. Scarlet Post author

      Victoria Bitter! Now she sounds like a fine pantomime villain! I will have to find a role for her.
      I thought that you would be more likely to tell me off for the cork reference… as you know, the Brits like to imagine that all Australians wander around with corks dangling from their hats 🙂

      1. dinahmow

        Some of us(no names mentioned) wear cork hats to meet visitors arriving from Blighty…And you’re right about the villainous name.Brilliant idea!

  4. lisleman

    I’m glad the title was “new direction” vs. “one direction”. Adding a pop band to this would be too much. So I’ve reread this, it appears Sebastian is drinking in 2007 and Scarlet is breathing 2014 air. Maybe I just need to find some aged whiskey.


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