Monday, March 28, 2016

A MOVING (TRUE) STORY!?!

SHY YETI WRITES A MUSICAL: A SKETCH...

Hello beasties!

...And now, this week - in place of the originally scheduled blog-post we share with you now a true story - it's not an April Fool at all, I promise - it's a true story, presented as a sketch - and it goes a little like this...

Picture the scene...

*SHY YETI WAITS PATIENTLY IN THE RECEPTION AREA OF LORDS AND LADIES THEATRICAL PUBLISHINGS SONS AND CO LIMITED*

RECEPTIONIST: (politely)

You can go in, sir... Mr Lords will see you now!

SHY YETI: (sincerely)

Thank you... Thank you most kindly.

*SHY YETI GETS TO HIS PAWS AND THEN ENTERS THE OFFICE... MR LORDS, A RATHER LARGE GENTLEMAN DRESSED AS A SHOW GIRL SITS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE*

MR LORDS: (almost too enthusiastically)

Ah! Mr Yeti, I presume... How delightful to meet you...

SHY YETI: (irritatingly keen)

No... No... It's my pleasure - really it is...

MR LORDS:

I know... Listen now... You may be wondering why I've called you here... Well, I'd be happy to explain... You see, you have been highly recommended to me by my good friend, Charlie Grrr... We are in desperate need of a big new West End musical and apparently you are the one to speak to when an idea is required in double-quick time... We need something that is already written and that can go to stage within the next few weeks - our original option has completely fallen through... Charlie tells me that you've got hundreds of unwritten plays and musicals stored away for potential use...

SHY YETI: (relaxing finally)

Good gracious! So that's it... I do, indeed... For a minute there I thought you'd called me in to catalogue a book or hypnotise a pensioner or something... I got in terrible trouble the last time I tried that... I didn't mean any harm, only her pet Spaniel was complaining that their owner was snoring too loudly... That poor lady... She spent the rest of her days thinking that she was a Glam-rock star... of course, the upside was that she did pretty well on the 70s revival circuit... Anyway, it's a relief...
 
MR LORDS: (trying not to lose patience)
 
Yes, well - I can see how it probably would be... Most distressing... Anyway... Moving on... Do you think you can help me? You'll be well paid, of course - all the pies you can eat and then more...
 
SHY YETI: (happy to help)
 
Sure! Sure! Charlie was right, yes - it is true about my store of ready written scripts... I'm pretty confident that I have something that you'll be able to use - I really am full of ideas - the only thing is...

MR LORDS: (sympathetically)

A lot of your ideas are extremely silly!?

SHY YETI: (surprised but agreeing)

Well, yes... If not extremely silly then most certainly ever-so daft... How did you know?

MR LORDS:

Mr Charlie did warn us that this might be the case - but he suggested that there might be something more appropriate for our purposes if you took something that you have meticulously listed in your notebook of finished musical scripts based on slightly dull ideas...

SHY YETI: (brightening)

Why... Why, yes - I suppose I could do that...

*SHY YETI TAKES OUT HIS BRIEFCASE, WHICH HE WASN'T CARRYING EARLIER, BUT WHICH HE NOW APPEARS TO HAVE WITH HIM... HE OPENS IT UP AND TAKES OUT A LITTLE NOTE-BOOK WHICH IS, INDEED, ENTITLED "FINISHED MUSICAL SCRIPTS BASED ON SLIGHTLY DULL IDEAS..."*

MR LORDS: (with encouragement)

Please Yeti... Do share some of these more ordinary thoughts with me, if you will...

SHY YETI: (becoming quite excitable)

Certainly, Mr Lords - I'd be glad to... But are you sure you really want a slightly dull idea? I wrote a champion synopsis for a musical the other week... My solitary concern being that it's a bit similar to "Cats", only my script is about badgers... Badgers who talk - sing - work in supermarkets - have heart-breaks and occasionally embezzle company funds before taking long holidays skiing in Switzerland...

MR LORDS: (kindly)

It does sound very interesting, Mr Yeti - but I still think I'd prefer to see one of your duller ideas...

SHY YETI: (reluctantly at first)

Oh... Very well... So, I have one here all about commuters waiting for their trains to arrive...

MR LORDS: (mutters)

Blimey... That IS dull...

SHY YETI: (slightly indignantly)

Well, that is what you asked for...

MR LORDS: (doubtful)

Yes... Yes... Fair enough... But is that it? Just commuters - standing there...

SHY YETI: (trying to give it some spin)

Well, they are all quite different - the characters, I mean... One of them is a chiropodist...

MR LORDS: (sounding more interested)

Oh yes? A chiropodist, you say - well, I must admit that this is beginning to sound quite promising...

SHY YETI: (beaming)

The big twist is that their trains are delayed...

MR LORDS:

Ah yes... I imagine there are all manner of songs that can be written concerning the trauma of delayed trains... What happens then? Do some of the commuters fall in love?

SHY YETI: (slightly apologetically)

Alas, no... Their trains never come and they eventually die on the platform and are pecked to pieces by hungry seagulls... It's all pretty tragic when you think about it - I had envisaged it as a comedy...

MR LORDS: (beginning to change his mind)

Well, of course... It all sounds very interesting - but maybe just a tad ambitious...

SHY YETI: (nodding as he reflects)

Well, I'll admit that the last ten minutes when the aliens invade could be a bit on the expensive side to stage...

MR LORDS: (moving on, slightly impatiently)

Yes, indeed - and I'm not sure it's for us... I'm sorry... Would you have something else, perhaps?

SHY YETI: (trying to remain positive)

Of course... Well, this one might suit you... It's pretty dull, which I know is what you are looking for...

MR LORDS: (retaining a fixed smile)

Absolutely! So, what exactly does it concern, Yeti?

SHY YETI:

Coffee... Coffee shops, actually... Well, a café I suppose you could say... It sells some delicious tortilla and the odd scone or two - has very nice flowers on every table...

MR LORDS:

That sounds more like set design than a plot description...

SHY YETI:

Well yes - although I take it that you don't require TOO much plot...

MR LORDS: (glancing down at his specification notes)

Some plot, yes - within reason - it's a delicate balance...

SHY YETI: (continuing to detail the background)

Well, this musical involves a gentleman who visits a coffee shop for three weeks during a change in his normal routine... This new coffee shop is very efficient, very polite and they always remember his order...

MR LORDS: (hopeful)

How splendid!...And do they sing some nice songs too?

SHY YETI: (sounding quite proud)

One or two, yes... There's a whole ten minute sequence where all the cast dress as lattes and dance with some life-sized Danish pastries...

MR LORDS: (his enthusiasm is beginning to be tested)

Riiiiiggggghhhhtttt... And then?

SHY YETI: (confidently, then nervously after the pause)

At the end of the three weeks the gentleman decides that he must tell the couple who run the café that he won't be coming back because... he is no longer robbing houses in that district...

MR LORDS: (shocked)

Doing WHAT!? He's a criminal? I thought he was a business man or somesuch...

SHY YETI: (gingerly)

Oh no... He is definitely a cat burglar... Actually, a cannibalistic telepathic cat burglar from Mars - but you needn't focus too closely on all that if it doesn't sit well with you...
   
MR LORDS: (sounding desperate)

Oh dear - really - I do think it's perhaps a little ambitious for West End tastes... I'd like to suggest a rewrite, but we need something ready to go, we just don't have the time... Please, Yeti - you are our last hope here... Might you have something a little more... sedate?

*SHY YETI FLICKS THROUGH HIS LITTLE BOOK OF SLIGHTLY DULL IDEAS AND STOPS SOMEWHERE NEAR THE BACK - LOOKING THOUGHTFUL BEFORE HE SPEAKS*

SHY YETI: (speaking slowly, delicately)

I have one here about a lady who doesn't celebrate major religious holidays...

MR LORDS: (concerned)

Is she from Mars, this lady? Does she eat people or steal from them?

SHY YETI: (positively)

Not in any draft that I've written, she's not - I can assure you of that...

MR LORDS: (worried)

I'm happy to hear it, quite frankly... So, what does she do, exactly? Just sit there and do the crossword whilst not celebrating any major religious holidays?

SHY YETI: (waffling on)

That's right... Yes... She watches the news and makes a sandwich just before the interval and then speaks to her mother on the phone during the second half... Oh, and obviously it's a musical - so she occasionally hums and also sings as she puts together a shopping list; although to be fair her ability to hold a tune is no great shakes, but you can't have everything now, can you?

MR LORDS: (calmer having heard all this)

Well no, no - I suppose not... So, that's it... There's nothing you haven't told me about the plot?

SHY YETI:

Well no, no - I don't think so... Oh... Except she has flashbacks - the lady, I mean - her name is Stanley, by the way...

MR LORDS:

Right... And these flashbacks?

SHY YETI:

Take her back to her childhood when she accidentally poisoned the nanny with an off fish-finger and then set fire to a nun... Oh, and she shoots a vicar in the very last act - but he forgives her before he dies... Only the aliens DON'T forgive her and the earth is destroyed in a terrible cycling accident...
 
MR LORDS: (relieved)
 
Right... Well... That all sounds fine to me, I was just worried it was going to be another one of your daft ideas...

SHY YETI: (chirpily)

No... No... Not at all... I kept that one pretty simple... I call it EVERYDAY IS THE SAME - A STORY OF LONELINESS...

MR LORDS: (airily)

You wouldn't mind if we retitled it TITS, would you? It's just that we need something short and punchy to draw an audience in...

SHY YETI: (lightly)

No... Sure... That's fine... I think it still sums up the basic ethos of the piece...

MR LORDS: (very pleased)

Yes... I agree... Well, that's marvellous, Yeti! I think we can do business! Let's shake on it...

*SHY YETI DOES A LITTLE DANCE AND THE WHOLE WORLD APPLAUDS... SADLY SOME ALIENS DESTROY THE EARTH BY BELCHING TOO LOUDLY AND SO, ALAS, "TITS" NEVER GETS PERFORMED AFTER-ALL...*




A moving story, I think you'll all agree... Anyway, next week I'll either be sharing with you a new poem or discussing something entirely different... We'll see! Exciting, isn't it?

More soon!

Paul xx

P.S. Although I took the photos I would like to thank Toby for making the scrumptious food that appears in them. *drools a bit* Oh, sorry...

This post and all contents are copyright Paul Chandler, 2016.

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