X Marks the Spot for my new Treasure Island Pantomime Script

This week I’ve been working on ideas behind a brand new script: Treasure Island.

Research and preparation

So, how do I prepare when writing a new title? Well, in this case I fired up Disney+ and spent a cosy afternoon watching The Muppet’s Treasure Island.

I even watched the DVD of a production of Treasure Island that I was in nearly twenty years ago(!)

Then I mapped out the key plot points from the original novel in bullet points. Taking care to note any early thoughts about where I could ‘panto-ify’ the narrative.

Making it a Pantomime

The next step was to see how those plot points mapped out over the pantomime structure. I like to make sure that there aren’t too many whole stage scenes, and try and keep the locations inbetween those to a minimum.

This means my pantomime scripts are always flexible for different size stages, casts and production teams.

Characters

When it comes to cast, you’ve got the iconic characters like Long John Silver, Jim Hawkins and the traditional panto Squire.

I love to find pun-laden panto names for characters, and there’s plenty of scope for that in Treasure Island. I decided to rename Billy Bones to Billy Bone-Idle (a lazy, no-good, old pirate), Blind Pew to Blind Pew-Pew (a musket wielding marksman), and Ben Gunn to Ben Gunns (a fitness obsessed pop-eye like muscular pirate).

Plus, I added the characters of Halle Hawkins (Halle as in Halle Berry you ask? No, Halle as in Halitocis) the pantomime dame. She’s Jim Hawkins’ mother and pub landlady. As well as Jane Trelawney, Squire Trelawney’s daughter, the local nurse and a few new female pirates; Bloody Mary (a drunken sailor), Anne Bone-y (a thin, lanky pirate), and Mary Reads (a literacy loving book-worm).

Locations

Then there’s the settings. Act one sticks to the relatively straight forward settings of Bristol Harbourside, and inside the pub. But Act two sees us out on the ocean waves aboard the Hispaniola then ashore on Treasure Island. Where we discover Ben Gunn has used the pirate treasure to found a fitness and wellbeing retreat for the super rich.

Writing the full draft

Once the synopsis is settled, it’s time to write. The first full draft takes between one and three months. With a few round of revisions. Then it’s got to be performed live before any further revisions can be made.

Speaking of which, I suppose I’d better stop procrastinating by writing this email, and get started on that first draft!

Releasing the script

Keep an eye on my website and sign up to receive my email updates to be the first to hear when Treasure Island will be released for licensing. Check out my full range of pantomime titles and order your free perusal copy.

And if you’re interested in premiering a new title not on the list, hit reply to this email.

Alex

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