Just to reassure you that it’s not the usual run-of-the-mill thing that I write, I offer you the following schematic of the tones used in my writing when I was creating this masterpiece:
As you can’t see, it’s a pretty upbeat piece of work. And if you need any more persuading, here’s a sneak preview: this panto contains not one, but two hand grenades; and at least one of them is deployed!
I’ve not done much today. Mostly eating, gardening and pantomime writing. Ate three good meals, trimmed back all the shrubs and bushes and wrote a couple more scenes of the panto I’m writing for you radio station I’m doing a show for.
Okay, Panto time. We have a radio station (www.5townsradio.co.uk) with about a gazillion (eighteen) radio presenters and they all need a part in this play. Importantly, no one should feel like they are just getting a bit-part. So we need some big characters to make this work for everyone.
I had a think about which characters should be in such a play and this (with the help of Becky’s quadruplets and her list of actors) is what I came up with (I’ve allotted actors to characters in random order – we can decide who will be who at a later date):
Quadruplet – Total Rebel – Good Through and Through – Anti Villain
Three Dwarves/Elves – Lumpy
Three Dwarves/Elves – Trumpy
Three Dwarves/Elves – Grumpy
Reindeer – Rambo
Reindeer – Rocky
Reindeer – Terminator
Reindeer – Bruce Lee
Reindeer – Indiana Jones
Reindeer – Jack Sparrow
Reindeer – Yoda
Reindeer – Gandalf
Reindeer – Harry Potter
Stereotypical big, jolly Santa.
We could have more dwarf/elves and fewer reindeer if we wanted, but the point of having all of them is that we now have enough characters for all the actors (and some to spare if more actors rock up).
So, building on what Becky has done we have the Quadruplets who decide to ruin Christmas for all of us by kidnapping Santa. The thing is, they have probably already foiled their own evil plot by believing in Santa and therefore having the seed of innocence and goodness within them. We’ll see how that unfolds later, but for now – not all the quads are as wicked as each other. Billy Bob was the firstborn and so he is the eldest and the ringleader. The others are followers. Billie Joe is the next evil, but his badness is only skin deep and only really stands up when he is with Billy Bob. Joey Bill similarly flip-flops between bad and good, but it’s Jilly Jane that ultimately foils Billy Bob’s plot. She is entirely good and she is probably the instrument to ultimately free Santa after the hapless Reindeer give it their best shot – let’s see.
The reindeer are each modelled after action heroes (see table for which ones) and so we are able to use their very best lines from the movies in order to write the script. That, and The Really Big Book of Terrible Jokes should make writing the script a piece of cake. The dialogue has to be as corny as we can make it and the more familiar the movie lines we steal borrow are, the better it will be for the audience.
The dwarves/elves are in there for comic effect. Lumpy is incontinent, Trumpy is flatulent and Grumpy is a real neg-head. In fact, everyone is there for comic effect, but the dwarves/elves are more on the silly/childish side of comedy rather than the clever side.
So, this is how it all fits together:
First of all, we have to introduce the characters. This has to be done in two parts:
The Goodies (Santa / Snow White (Dame) / Reindeeer / Dwarves/Elves)
The Baddies (The quadruplets).
These fit into the scenes like this:
Start plot, Introduce main good characters, living in some place in the 5 Towns Area that’s famous. Is there a castle or something like that?
Show Snow White (older than she was in the traditional story) and Santa living together in relative harmony going about their daily routines and worrying about Christmas and if it’s worth the trouble.
Introduce the bad characters (four grown up quadruplets living in a bad area in Castleford They all work in marketing/sales/advertising/public relations (Four Horsemen of the Consumer Apocalypse) and, although they squabble and fight, they agree that capitalism / consumerism is king. They each want to get promoted at work by developing a cunning plot to boost consumption by the masses. As it turns out, they decide to attain this goal by kidnapping Santa. Scene Theme tune: Bad to the Bone – George Thorogood (get Monty to sing it).
The quadruplets carry out their evil plan by bundling Santa into their white van as he is coming out of Aldi. Oh no!!
Fortunately for Santa, the three dwarves/elves see what happened and manage to rescue Santa before the van gets out of the car park. We can work out the details of this, but remember that it all has to be through dialogue and sound-effects because we won’t be able to see what happens.
The quadruplets manage to get away without their identity being revealed and it seems that the crisis is averted (for now) and so we have a jolly song and a celebratory party back at the castle (or whereever). — INTERVAL (or something like that) —
Bit of comedy at the castle over breakfast the next day at which the goodies are jolly and upbeat
Meanwhile, back with the quadruplets: they lick their wounds but agree that this isn’t over and hatch a plot to sneak into the castle that night and steal Santa out from under the noses of the goodies.
The baddies get in and steal Santa under cover of darkness.
The goodies get up, find Santa is gone, find the number plate of the van fallen off on the drive, find the address and tool up in their own peculiar ways to go on the warpath to get him back. Famous lines from each of the reindeer characters. Scene Theme tune: Ride of the Valkyries.
They get the address and deploy in formation, ready for battle, but the bats have flown the cave – Santa is not there – oh no!! They start to troop disconsolately back to the castle.
Back with the badies en route to … somewhere out of town. Santa tells the quadruplets that he doesn’t really exist and so consumerism is safe. That doesn’t work because he is in the back of their van. Santa then argues that he does exist and that he is actually good for consumerism. He explains that he really works by getting parents to buy toys to give to their kids and so they should let him go. This sets off an arguement between the quadruplets with half of them being persuaded but the other half not. They are so engrossed in their argument that they don’t notice that Santa has slipped out of the back while they are stopped at a red light. They drive off still arguing and Santa calls the castle on his mobile and gets them to pick him up.
All the goodies are reunited back at the castle and they have a jolly old sing-song and the laughter and merriment is faded out into the scene theme song: I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day (or similar).
Now we just have to write the script. Easy peasy, right?