Dick Picinngton

Holla! It’s been a while, eh? It turns out that a global pandemic and multiple lockdowns, coupled with being skint, spending the majority of time completely alone and the uncertainty of future job prospects, can really put a dampner on your mood! Who’d of thought it! But here I am, back in the spirit, writing away and feeling a splurge of creativity. Rejoice!

What have I been upto? Mainly, a shitload of improv. I know pre-pandemic I was doing hunnerz of improv, being in three teams plus co-running a monthly show and a monthly workshop, but even now, I’m still hella busy with it. Which is bloody great! I’ve met loads of great people from across da globe, performed in shows, been to jams and taught multiple workshops. I love improv. It’s great.

One thing I did struggle with creativity-wise (not looks-wise, I never struggle with that), is that all this uncertainty has made it pretty hard to write a script. I love writing, I’m excellent at it. So much so, that I earned a distinction for my masters in television fiction writing! Look at me go:

The problem is, I don’t have a reason to really write. When I write scripts, it’s partly for fun, but mainly because I know they need to be done. For instance if I had a uni deadline, or a Fringe deadline. I write scripts for a reason- to be performed (or graded). I don’t really write a script unless I know it’s going to be made or performed. One thing we did at uni was create a portfolio of scripts, so even though there’s a load of writing competitions at the moment, I’ve been submitting a piece I already wrote last year (even got shortlisted for the C21Media’s 2020 International Drama Series Script competition, wayhey!). So yeah, there’s been no drive really. So what if I don’t write anything today? I can just write a bit more tomorrow, what’s the rush? Play that on repeat. There’s nae urgency, and that forced me into a bit of a slump, and I’m not gonna lie, a bit of a depression.

BUT NEVER FEAR! FOR I AM BACK, BABY!

I owe a large part of that to my debut pantomime: Dick Picinngton. Over summer, my favourite lads would read my scripts over Zoom, and we’d have a great time bringing the story to life. Lots of accents, over dramatic readings, and shitloads of booze. Fun all round. Well, our Christmas Zoom was coming up, and my dear pal asks me what are the chances of writing us a pantomime? All the chances. All the fucking chances. And in ten days, Dick Picinngton was born!

This was my first time writing a pantomime, and I gotta say, it was so much bloody fun! You can be as cheesy as you like,. chuck in as many innuendos, over amplify things, and make the dialogue as obvious as possible. I didn’t have to worry so much about subtly, or subtext- the characters all wear their hearts on their sleeves and say it like it is. Which is so much fun to write! Since then, I’ve been working on new ideas for scripts, polishing things off, and also writing just for fun. Because, as all my HER-larious goers will know, the most important thing is to HAVE FUN!

Of course, a panto wouldn’t be complete without songs, so here are some of my favourite ones for you to sing along to, and obviously incorporate into your family traditions.

Breif plot summary: Dick Piccington is down on his luck, nae money and is about to kicked out of his flat. Luckily his Fairy Godparent Gumtree hooks him up with a new flatmate, Tammy Twat, and they scrape by. Dick bumps into his upstairs neighbour, Jenny Jamieson who lives with Cookie and Lazo, and the two instantly fall in love. Seeing Dick and Tammy are down on their luck, Cookie, Lazo and Jenny convince the pair to join them on their Only Fans channel, and the group quickly become number one. This angers Queen Rat Out, who doesn’t want anyone stealing her top spot, so she connives to have them cancelled- by using her excellent deepfake skills. Upon seeing this video, Jenny is heartbroken and disgusted, dumping Dick and kicking them all out. Determined to clear their names and prove they’ve been hacked, Dick, Tammy, Cookie and Lazo head off to the University of West of Scotland to learn coding and take down the evil Queen Rat Out. With the help of nanotechnology, they manage to defeat Queen Rat Out, and regroup. Touched by this act of true friendship and love, Fairy Godparent Gumtree connects the gang with a Nigerian prince who is willing to share his riches, they all celebrate being rich, happy and in love.

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