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Recently at Biggar Writers we've been experimenting with script writing. Here are a couple of pieces I've written. It's another writing discipline I'm dabbling with.

A Skating Chicken


Bob: Welcome once again to the 25th Annual International South West of England Do What You Like as Long as it's Completely Bonkers Games, day 1 of competition. Hold on, I have Harry down by the Lakeside where no events are scheduled for today but it makes a lovely backdrop, with some breaking news. Harry …


Harry: Yes, Bob, I'm here at the Lakeside where no events are scheduled today but it makes a lovely backdrop, with news that attempts were made at the opening ceremony yesterday to pass a motion to simplify the naming of the games. Well, the motion wasn't passed but the smelling salts were and Mrs Vera Sludge-Bucket, a butcher from Ilfracombe, was rushed to hospital to check her marriage licence. Back to you Bob at the comparatively boring Big Field. Bob …


Bob: Thanks Harry. Back here - in the studio - beside the comparatively boring Big Field we're breathlessly waiting for the start of the first competition of the day, Guess What Fruit I Am. At field-side we have last year's gold medallist in the Women's Lightweight Division from Lombardy, Italy, Fifi Castrato and our very own Muriel Plank. Over to you, Muriel …


Muriel: Thanks Bob. Fifi, welcome.


Fifi: Grazie.


Muriel: Before we turn our attention to today's action, can we look back for a moment at your somewhat controversial win last year, when you beat local favourite Penelope Pigswill in the final.


Fifi: Controverso?


Muriel: Yes. Many of the entrants complained you should have been competing at a higher division, Middleweight, given the size of your bust, and that your colouring gave you an unfair advantage during your impersonation of a chestnut.


Fifi: Assurdo. Questo è un insulto razzista.


Muriel: Well, there you have it, straight from the mouth of the Big Chestnut herself. And wait … Here come the first competitors of the day. This is men's featherweight division, and the opening discipline is … Yes, I'm told, I'm told it's Citrus Fruits. Well there you have it. That should bore the arse off us for the next two hours. Back to you Bob in the studio. Bob …


Bob: Yes, I'm in the studio, next to the comparatively boring Big Field, and I've just been joined by the President of the Organising Committee, Sir Leonard Oscar Cow-Dung Partridge I'll Have a Cream Tea as Long as You Put the Cream On Top Smythe, KG, DS and Bar. Len … tell us more about the thwarted coup to re-name the games.


Sir Len: Some swinish pinko-commie spy infiltrated the committee … only the female members, I hasten to add, but if that wasn't enough, the swine proposed we rename the games The South West of England Alternative Games, thereby at a sweep removing its international basis, and appeal, and opening the way to events that are not completely bonkers. Vera Sludge-Bucket may never recover.


Bob: In the interests of impartiality, we should point out our sources are reporting Mrs Sludge-Bucket's hospitalisation was due to a completely different matter relating to suspected bigamy.


Sir Len: I can assure you my Vera did not willingly succumb to infiltration.


Bob: Quite. Well thank you, Len. Now … if someone could cart him away … It's time to go back to the Lakeside for another look at that splendid backdrop. Harry …


Harry: Bob … Well there's still nothing happening here but the organisers are saying that the opening round of Crossing the Lake Inside a Supermarket Trolley While Eating an Ice Cream is to go ahead, on schedule, the Tuesday after next, immediately after the conclusion of the closing ceremony. This is a competition in which we Brits are traditionally strong in both singles and doubles. I'm hearing Jo Thick as Mince Pork-Chops from Bolton has declared he'll be competing in the partially filled trolley discipline while his close friend, Martin Black-pudding Sensationally Large Marrow has declined to compete this year and is instead hoping to make a scene at the Chelsea Flower Show.


Bob: I'm sorry, Harry, I have to interrupt - controversy erupting on the Big Field. Muriel …


Muriel: Bob. Yes, the Russian competitor Yuri Rasputin has been attacked by a giant chicken on roller skates. Rasputin was at the time impersonating a corn cob and was already in trouble with the judges because, as they were clearly trying to point out to the Russian, corn is not classed as a citrus fruit. A dejected Yuri was making his way to the dressing rooms when suddenly a giant chicken came racing toward him, roller skating, and charged into him, pecking madly at the Yuri-corn. At this stage it's not known if the chicken is a real one, if a particularly talented and overweight one, or a stray competitor from the Russian Farmyard Gymnastics Squad where Yuri used to ply his trade as a completely bonkers athlete. You'll remember Bob, the recent revelation that Yuri, a former skating chicken himself, was having an affair with Marina Dodgy Triceps Dumpalloverya, the wife of his best friend Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, a snowboarding elephant originally from the Ukraine.


Bob: No, I hadn't a clue, Muriel. But never mind, what has Fifi had to say about it?


Muriel: Fifi, what have you got to say about it?


Fifi: Speravo di vedere dei limoni.


Muriel: Well, there you have it, straight from the mouth of the Big Chestnut herself. Bob …


Bob: Harry …


Harry: Bob. It's at times like these I wish we were televising the games.


Bob: Sure thing, Harry. Live pictures of that chicken …


Harry: I meant the Lake, Bob. Doesn't look so great on radio.


Bob: Well that's all we've got. You don't look so great yourself, Harry.


Harry: Or you, Bob. But Muriel. Wow. She's a fine …


Bob: Careful Harry.


Harry: And Fifi - what a chest!


Bob: What a Chestnut, you might say.

Something in the absurdist tradition I guess. Anyway, some clever dick suggested we write something involving a chicken on roller skates.

Dinner for 6 and 3 Black Ladies



DR ANDREW HULME: Physician, late-40s, widowed. Highly conservative. Uptight. A disciplinarian.

JENNIFER HULME: His daughter. 19. Recently returned home after first year at Uni. Vivacious. Cheeky. Rebellious.

AUNT CISSY: Hulme's sister. Late-30s. Unmarried, but not from lack of trying. Loose with profanities much to Hulme's chagrin. Far back "high society" accent courtesy of expensive private education.

BINDEN: Cissy's latest beau. Late-30s. A drifter, out of work actor, looking for a meal ticket.

DR ALAN CARMICHAEL: Older -late-50s - senior Physician colleague of Hulme's from the same GP practice. A snob. Secretly despises Hulme.

MRS HELEN CARMICHAEL: Secretly despises them all.

Fade In:

The dining room in Hulme's home.

Hulme, Cissy, Binden and the Carmichaels are sitting round the dinner table, starters in front of them, waiting for Jennifer. Hulme is fuming over Jennifer's unpunctuality. The others are on edge, embarrassed, except Cissy who is gleefully unaware of the fuss. She picks up her spoon to attack the soup.

Hulme: (Tightly) Not yet, Cissy.


Cissy: Sorry?

Hulme: We're waiting for Jennifer.

Cissy: Oh. Farking hell, the soup will be farking freezing by the time she gets her farking arse here. For fark's sake, Andrew, she's a farking teenager.

Hulme: (Censoriously) Do you have to curse so much, Cissy? We have guests.

Carmichael: Don't mind us.

Helen: No don't. It's always terribly entertaining when Ciss is about.

Cissy: Thank you, Helen. Farking good job someone's got some farking sense round here.

Binden: (Chuckling) You mean, like me.

Cissy: No, darling, not like you, don't be so farking ridiculous. Just eat your soup and try not to drop your spoon.

Jennifer enters the dining room, rushing to kiss her father on the cheeks, smiling broadly at the others.

Jennifer: Hello everyone. (Sits.) Come on, tuck-in, don't let the soup get cold. Besides, the hired help are straining at the leash, can't wait to dish out the beef wellington.

Cissy: Surely not, darling. (Sarcastically) Andrew will be paying them by the hour. He's such a farking spendthrift that daddy of yours.

Jennifer sniggers. The Carmichaels guffaw. Hulme scowls.

Jennifer: Tell me about it. He's been showering me with gifts and money all year. I'm the richest student in London. Or so he tells me.

Hulme: (Coughs) You're doing perfectly well, Jennifer, and well you know it.

Jennifer: I know, Pops. Only teasing.

Carmichael: It is getting terribly difficult these days for students.

Jennifer: Tell me about it. And it will continue to be "terribly difficult", if no one is prepared to pay the bloody taxes to make it just a little bit easier.

Cissy: (Groans). Oh fark. We're not going to have one of those farking boring political discussions, are we?

Binden: Hope not.

Cissy: Oh darling, I shouldn't have thought it would make a ha'porth of farking difference to you - wouldn't know a farking political debate from your farking arse, boring or not.

The sound of a telephone ringing from the hall.

Hulme: Oh bother. I'm sorry I'll have to take it. Now, Jennifer, look after our guests (aside, in Jennifer's ear as he passes her) and for pity's sake behave yourself.

Hulme leaves.

Carmichael: One of his private patients?

Jennifer: I wouldn't know.

Helen: Must be. What else would get him up from the table on a Friday evening?

Carmichael: Really, it's not good enough. I mean, he takes on far too much. Not good for you. He should know better.

Helen: How else do you think he funds Jennifer's luxurious lifestyle?

Jennifer: If only. Listen folks, I heard a good story the other day, want to hear it?

Cissy: Well no one's funding my luxurious lifestyle - such as it is - except myself.

Binden: Nor me.

Cissy: Now darling, that's not entirely correct, is it? Last time I looked I was funding your farking lifestyle, every last farking penny of it.

Helen: (Coughing nervously) Well, well, I don't think we need to hear about that?

Carmichael: (Chuckling) Why ever not?

Binden: (To Cissy, hurt) You said you were happy to help out while I was 'resting'.

Cissy: Longest farking rest since Sleeping farking Beauty, for fark's sake. (Turning to J) Now what were you saying, darling?

Carmichael: I believe she was about to inflict upon us one of her dreadful anecdotes.

Helen: Oh do tell, Jennifer. I do like a good anecdote?

Jennifer: Not exactly an anecdote ...

Helen: Whatever.

Cissy: Shouldn't we wait for your father.

Jennifer: (Hurriedly)I think perhaps we shouldn't. Anyway, listen. Three black women are discussing their men and they all have nicknames for them. (Putting on cod negro accent) The first one says, I call my man Brownie, because he's so unbelievably sweet. The second says, I call my man Joker, cos he never fails to make me laugh. The third one says, I call my man Drambuie. The first two women look puzzled, and then the first says - Isn't that some kind of fancy liquor? Well, exactly, says the third woman.

All laugh, except Cissy, who frowns and obviously hasn't got the joke.

Helen: Yes, well, hmm, very good Jennifer.

Carmichael: (Guffawing) I wish Andrew had been here.

Binden: Well you've got your wish, here he is.

Hulme re-enters. Everyone quickly quietens down.

Hulme: (Suspiciously) Did I miss something?

Binden: Not a jot. Jennifer was just telling us how frightfully difficult it is making ends meet, being a student, you know. I have the same problem, being ...

Helen: A ponce?

Carmichael: Pimp, darling. I think you mean pimp.

Binden: Look here ...

Helen: Same thing.

Jennifer: Pretty much.

Binden: I say ...

Cissy: (Suddenly) Oh, you mean he was licking her kent!

Shocked silence. Hulme turns beetroot, Carmichael collapses in laughter. Binden and Helen remain open mouthed. Jennifer rolls her eyes.

Jennifer: Thanks a bloody bunch Auntie Ciss.

Hulme rises.

Hulme: Jennifer! I think we should have words. In the hall, now!


Fade Out: The End

Someone said let's have a go at writing a script, like for a radio or stage play. So some of us did. This is my effort. It's based on a true life story I was told and I've embellished it a bit because, frankly, I can't remember the details - only the finer, important points.

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