Friday, 22 March 2013

gone farming

In 2002 or something crazy my friend Susannah Pearse and I wrote a musical called Farm! (SP wrote the songs. She's a genius.) Like a higher proportion of my work that most writer's, it features talking horses and centres around a race between a zebra and a racehorse on which the fate of a poor farm next to a rich farm hangs. A cute little girl rides the zebra, obviously, and the zebra is helped out by a sceptical team of fellow animals.

This is also the plot of the Disney movie Racing Stripes (2005). My mother will never not find this suspicious. I am convinced it's convergent evolution and my bad luck. It was unlucky because, in 2005, after a couple of years of workshops at Greenwich Theatre, it looked like Greenwich were going to put it on properly, and then Racing Stripes came out...*

The show was originally written for Debden Primary School in Essex, where my friend Holly taught. She now teaches at Mayfield School in Cambridge, and, after seven years, Farm! is being performed this afternoon. Sue and I are really excited about it.

(As you can see from the reviews links, there's a TLS review. You can, at present, only get it by paying. Or by reading it in a shop.)

* One of these workshops was professional and properly paid, which was quite something at the time. We suggested keeping the same director and mostly the same cast as we had in the first very successful workshop. Greenwich said 'I think we can do better than your university friends.' Thus, the Greenwich professional workshop did not feature David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Olivia Coleman (who had to pull out of the first workshop because she got paying work) and Gus Brown, and was not directed by Paul King. I regret these things still.

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