It has to be accepted among “creative people” that it is very rare to finish up the projects we start. I have lost count of the amount of times I have excitedly started something, only to lose the passion for it somewhere along the way. Some of those things will remain unfinished forever, and I have to be cool with that as an idea. We all have to be cool with that as an idea. I have started a number of things that I will never get around to finishing for one reason or another.
I suppose it was for that reason that when my dear friend Scott asked if I wanted to write a play with him that I assumed it was going to be one of many projects that never really comes to fruition. If the percentage of things I start and finish on my own is low, then the number of things I start and finish as part of a collaboration is even lower.
The maths is quite interesting. You take the chance of you ever finishing anything and times it by the chance of the other person ever finishing anything and then do some maths and the odds are pretty low. I’m not even going to complete that equation. It’s just another unfinished thing.
Now the cool thing about Scott is that he co-owns Hide and Shriek with his friend George. The pair of them are like the odd couple. George needs numbers and calm. He works well on his own and very much speaks his mind. He’s like a cat I guess. Scott on the other hand is like a dog. He is silly and he loves people and he will do almost anything to get a cuddle. Somehow, the pair of them work together very well. George counts the beans and Scott watches YouTube videos and screams Sum 41 lyrics. Maybe that was more my influence than anything else.
The show they wanted me to help with was a dinner show. Dinner shows are popular at our local theatre, but they are mainly aimed at a British sitcom nostalgia audience. Things like Fawlty Towers and Father Ted are put on over the course of a three course meal. Hide and Shriek were contacted by the second largest theatre company in the UK to put together a zombie dinner show. I just happened to wander into their unit in Southend when Scott was putting ideas together for it. And the rest, as they say, is history. Scott told me about this before Christmas and it wasn’t really something that either of us picked up until into the New Year. It was then he told me that the first date for the show was 7th February 2017. I pretended that was absolutely fine.
In the last two weeks we have put together a script. We have redrafted and rewritten. We have spent entire days locked up in their tiny office with just electric storage heaters and a borrowed coffee machine for company. We went insane, we slept among rats and set pieces when we could. We watched a lot of YouTube videos. We danced to Avril Lavigne. We tried to work out if we fancied Josh Homme or Brody Dalle-Homme more. George would come in and poke us with a stick to make sure we were still alive, and then throw us a pack of NikNaks in the hopes it would give us enough energy to carry on.
We have held auditions, shot promo shots and a video, met with people from the theatre and considered dropping it all to write a drag show. It has been an incredible experience and we are now in a position where we not only have an amazing script and a brilliant opportunity but also an amazing cast who all immediately shone. I feel so excited to be a part of something that I truly believe in. There were tough days but I wouldn’t change it for anything else and am so grateful that I get to be involved with something that is gathering so much interest.
On top of that, Scott and George let me be the central focus of the promotional stuff. They even photoshopped my teeth.