Monthly Archives: October 2012

Frankenstein’s Revenge Play – Episode 7 – Last for this year!

In the last episode, we witnessed Horace Gawp kidnapped and locked up and Mistress Loony on the verge of being arrested by a mysterious police inspector.  Was it the end for the Loony Literature Laboratory or will the fearless two overcome the obstacles they have to wrestle with?

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Frankenstein’s Revenge Play – Episode 6.

In the last exciting instalment, Horace Gawp came face to face with his evil twin brother, Boris.  When a mysterious police inspector turns up at the Loony Literature Laboratory, things go from worse to disastrous for Mistress Loony.  Is this the end of the road for The Laboratory?

Can you spot the deliberate mistake in the video?  Clue – it’s to do with a rhyming name.

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Diary of a Writer – Graveyards.

My eyeballs felt as if someone had tried to peel them like an onion.  Actually, it might have been with an onion they were stinging so much. Does terror from staring at a computer screen cause sore eyes?  It was no use, it did not matter how long I glazed over at the manuscript of “Mulgrave Castle”, I was not feeling spooky, Victorian or psychic.  For a second, I played with the idea that somewhere on the internet there could be a sort of Viagra for writers which instead of making them feel sexy sort of erected the atmosphere they were meant to be in.  I didn’t think there would be one and one has to be so careful what one searches for these days.

In a state of desperation, I went from staring at the computer screen to staring out of the window.  I overlook a graveyard and a six hundred year church.  It all looked spooky and I thought I could stare at that to get in the mood. Not so, suddenly car after car arrived on the car park.  The next thing was that a gang of energetic, octogenarian walkers all had their car boots up whilst they took their flasks of coffee out and started drinking and socialising before their walk.   It then occurred to me that I could make some film clips of a graveyard and that might be helpful in summoning up atmosphere anytime I am working on “Mulgrave Castle”.

I grabbed my video camera but couldn’t film at the graveyard next to me as the gang had now taken sandwiches out of their car boots and seemed to be settling down for the day.  After thinking up an elaborate plan to get rid of them, I decided that dressing up in my Loony Literature gear and brandishing a large bell whilst shouting “plague” might not actually work.

I glared some more out of the window and then decided to go to a nearby market town and film there.  I didn’t want to look conspicuous hanging around a graveyard alone so I asked my mother if she fancied going out for hot chocolate.  As she is under five feet tall, just under eighty and looks charmingly innocent, I thought she was the perfect lookout for me.

All was going well, apart from my mother complaining about the lack of hot chocolate, until an elderly man with white, curly whiskers around his chin and leading a similar looking dog tried to cross examine me.

“You one of them family historians then?”  Both dog and man stared at me whilst they waited for a reply.  I was relieved that I didn’t have to lie, after all, I do do family history, I just wasn’t doing it then.  I nodded and waited for him to pass by.

“Who you looking for then?”  Both the man and the dog moved closer.  I would never make a spy, I stammered and stumbled and said “we’ve found nothing.”  He shrugged and I expected him to move on but he still watched us.  I linked my arm through my mother’s and we slowly walked away from the graveyard and then I slyly turned to see if the dog walker had moved on.  He didn’t, he watched us as we walked away but then he bent down to talk to his terrier and at that moment I grabbed my mother by the arm and we hid behind a tree and waited for him to go.   He looked up and shrugged in a disappointed manner and slowly moved away.

We hotfooted it back to the graveyard and I quickly did my filming in case the dog walker found me there again on his way back.  I was extremely pleased with myself as I thought my graveyard filming was done with, I simply had to put it on the laptop and it was ready for use – until I looked at it.  The clip is fine until it comes to second twenty seven and then there seems to be a man only from his torso (legs must be in the earth) with his head bent praying by the side of one of the graves.  I examined the clip but could not come up with what it could really be.

A week later, I decided that I would return to the spot to try to see what I had photographed and take some still shots of the spot.  Four teenagers, without coats, were sitting right by my spot, hanging out.  I had to decide whether to continue with my photography or just pretend to be walking past.    I decided to pretend that they weren’t there.  I examined the spot from all angles making sure that each headstone was where I thought it was.  I could not see what could possibly represent the image on the film.  I took my video camera from my bag and somehow it had become as dead as a parish council meeting on a Saturday night.  I quickly put it away and tried not to look at the teenagers who, I could see out of the corner of my eye, were all sitting in a line staring at me.  Luckily, I had my son’s camera with me as a backup, so I quickly took that out and tried to switch it on – dead.  I poked the on button and prodded it frantically.  The teenagers had moved closer but I could not contain my enthusiastic and violent prods onto the camera.  Nothing happened.  I lifted my head proudly and with a majestic air swept past the viewing teenagers with my mother following swiftly behind. How both batteries on both cameras came to be so dead, I will never know.  My video camera had one hundred minutes on it when I checked the night before.

The following Saturday I made sure that both cameras were fully charged when I set out.  I managed to take photographs without an audience but I cannot find out what the shape is in the video.  After all that, I’ve decided that maybe I should try something else to conjure up atmosphere.  Haunted castle anyone?

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Frankenstein’s Revenge Play – episode 5

Horace Gawp had been desperate to star in the play “Frankenstein’s Revenge”, unfortunately all the members of the drama group left when he joined.  The intrepid Mistress Loony was not to be put off as she announced to Horace that they would advertise for actors to act in the play with him.  This was not to be as less than respectable types turned up for auditions.     Eventually, Mistress Loony and Mr Gawp decided to do it themselves.  Things turn nasty however, when a face from Mr Gawp’s past arrives unexpectedly.

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Hallowe’en – How to build a monster easily!

I’ve had a few emails asking for tips on how to make monsters and ghoulish figures.  So I’ve taken an extract from the play “Frankenstein’s Revenge – a play full of shifty manoeuvres and time travel” to demonstrate how we built the Monster’s Bride.  Using these ideas you can build your very own monster for Hallowe’en and then bring it out year after year for the spooky season.  Note: having a resident monster is very helpful for answering the door to unwanted callers – you simply have it sitting in a chair by the open door –   it’s amazing the effect it it has on people.

Franknestein's Revenge

The Monster’s Bride in her best outfit.

How We Made The Monster’s Bride.

 

We wanted to build Frankenstein’s Laboratory to demonstrate our vision of it to children.  In the beginning, before the play was finished, we imagined that we would have The Monster on the table where Dr. Frankenstein was working on him.  So we needed to get a monster.  When we were thinking about getting The Monster, we decided to buy a mannequin and put blood and warts on him, a mask and then dress him.  The problem was that we did not know a lot about mannequins and bought one cheaply over the internet.  Originally, we wanted to lay The Monster on the table but when we received the mannequin he would not lie down.  We had purchased a mannequin which would only sit up.  After much thought, we decided that The Monster would be sitting in a chair and we would have The Monster’s Bride lying on Dr Frankenstein’s work table.

Frankenstein's Revenge.

These days we can buy masks galore on the internet, at car boot sales, in shops and on markets.

After the mistake with The Monster, we decided to build The Monster’s Bride ourselves.  It was suggested to me to use a frogman’s suit as had been done for Doctor Who’s original Cybermen.  Unbelievably, as this was suggested, one came up for sale at the local auction house.  So there I was waving my paddle with vigour and landing a fantastic bargain.

Frankenstein's Revenge.

Bubble wrap is a great way to stuff a skull and it adds to the effect on the eyeballs when they are added. So when you receive a parcel, never, ever throw your bubble wrap away.

The first job was to stuff the suit and sew up the openings at the wrists and ankles.  Don’t ever underestimate how many old clothes it takes to stuff a frogman’s suit.  I was desperate to get it finished and in the end shoved everything within reach into it.  Unfortunately, that exercise returns to haunt me when I can’t find a certain skirt.  I eye the monster’s bride and wonder what she is hiding in there.  By the time I came to stitch up the arms and legs, my own arms and hands were aching from the constant compressing of old garments.  We had a body.  (Another way to make a body is to stuff a jumper and sew up the arms and neck.  After this, stuff a pair of trousers and sew the ankles up.  Sew the jumper and trousers together to produce a body.)

Frankenstein's Revenge.

Cheap bathroom decorations bought off a market, car boot sale or charity shop make weird eyeballs especially when encased in bubble wrap.

The next part of the monster’s bride was easy.  That is, apart from struggling to put a pair of black fish net tights on a stuffed, floppy frogsuit.  I dressed the body in a long skirt and jacket and then attached a gory hand and foot, purchased off the internet.  All that was missing was a head.  The internet is fantastic for masks.  I bought an alien looking mask and stuffed it with bubble wrap.  Two small blue plastic turtles fitted nicely behind the eyes.  I used a coat hanger inside the monster’s jacket to attach the head.  It simply latches onto the coat hanger’s hook.  The monster’s bride was born.

Frankenstein's Revenge.

So there, you have a head in a few short steps.

Frankenstein’s Revenge is aimed at introducing children to the novel “Frankenstein” but it wants to do much more than that.  The intention is to use it as a springboard for creativity, including building a monster.  Once the main body is made, it can be used again and again for different productions; it simply needs a change of costume to convert it into a different character.

Frankenstein's Revenge

Slipping a coat hanger inside the monster’s coat makes it easy to attach the head to the body and it also means that you can swap heads easily.

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Hallowe’en Monster Name Competition.

Today a new monster skipped across the graveyard and turned up at The Laboratory

Nobody knows the name of The Mystery Monster.

So now we know why she has turned up at The Laboratory for Hallowe’en but we still don’t know her name.  We have decided to name her ourselves but with the help of you.  Please send name suggestions to loonylit321@btinternet.com    At Hallowe’en we will choose the best name and send the winner two copies of Frankenstein’s Revenge so that you can act it out with a friend.

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Hallowe’en Giveaways For Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

I hate bullying!  I hate it so much that I wrote a children’s book that has bullying as the main theme.  To show my support for the Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, I am giving away ten copies of Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow  the spooky paperback edition on Hallowe’en.  It is aimed at 8-12 year olds.   All you have to do is email me at loonylit321@btinternet.com – the first ten names pulled out of the hat on Hallowe’en will have a signed copy sent to them.

Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow

Anti Bullying fiction for 8-12 year olds.

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Frankenstein’s Revenge Play – Episode Four.

To see episode 1,2 and 3 click on the Categories side bar and choose Frankenstein’s  Revenge.

Mistress Loony is waiting to audition actors for Frankenstein’s Revenge.  When a Mr Sherlock Holmes turns up with his own ideas, Mistress Loony makes an important decision.

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Hallowe’en Run Up – Part Three of Frankenstein’s Revenge Film Clips.

For those of you about to view the latest film clip – I offer my strongest apologies.  In my desire to encourage children to embrace drama, I have as usual made a complete fool of myself.  I know this is not out of the ordinary but … well  – oh just watch it!

The story so far:

Horace Gawp has turned up at The Laboratory feeling down in the dumps as he joined a drama group who were putting on the play “Frankenstein’s Revenge – a play full of shifty manoeuvres and time travel.”  Unfortunately, everyone has quit the group since Horace joined.  Mistress Loony tells him not to worry as she will put an advertisement in the paper to audition actors.  They will put the play on themselves. (Part 1 – to see this episode click on the category sidebar and then choose Frankenstein’s Revenge. )

Albert Chadwick, a used car salesman, auditions for the part – unfortunately, he not only wants the part of Dr Frankenstein, which Mr Gawp is after, but he fiddles  with the script rather.  (Part 2 – to see this episode click on the category sidebar and then choose Frankenstein’s Revenge. )

Mistress Loony is nowhere to be found when a rather mysterious lady turns up to audition as Elizabeth.  Things do not turn out well for Horace Gawp.

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Literacy – “Frankenstein’s Revenge” Extract with Questions and Activity.

Here at Loony Literature, we know that if children are introduced to the classics in a fun way, before they have to study them, they will find the whole experience fun instead of daunting or boring.  I wrote the play “Frankenstein‘s Revenge – a play full of shifty manoeuvres and time travel” to introduce 9-12 year olds to Frankenstein.  The play is written for children to understand the basic concept of  Frankenstein and to experience acting for themselves in a relaxed atmosphere.  The play also explores prejudice so even though, it is silly and fun, it does have a social message which gives lots of scope for discussion.  Below is the beginning of the play so that you can choose who you are going to be and then simply read your parts or you can actually pretend to be in The Laboratory and act it out.  This is followed by questions so that you can determine if the children have understood the plot so far.  Next, there are questions about how Doctor Frankenstein acts so that the children can explore the concept of character in the play.  Finally, there is a fun speaking and listening activity which encourages children to act and improvise.  It doesn’t all have to be done at once, it can be broken down into sections if that is preferred.  Have fun and let us know what happens.

Frankenstein’s Revenge – a play full of shifty manoeuvres and time travel.

 

ACT ONE

 

Scene One

 

Toadstool  – Nearly two hundred years ago, a writer named Mary Shelley wrote a very famous book called Frankenstein.  The book is still being read today and has inspired people to write stories, make films and write plays ever since.   Frankenstein’s Revenge is a look at what happens when Doctor Frankenstein meets his creator, Mary Shelley.

 

Frankenstein’s Laboratory.  A wolf is tied up.

 

We see a cake stand with ten body parts on it.

We hear singing to the tune of Ten Green Bottles.

 

Chorus –

Ten body parts sitting on a plate,

Ten body parts sitting on a plate,

And if one body part should accidentally be ate,

There’d be nine body parts sitting on a plate.

 

Toadstool picks a body part off the cake stand and gives it to the wolf to eat.  He exits.

 

Partial blackout.

 

 

 

Scene Two

 

Setting – Frankenstein’s laboratory.

Frankenstein is looking at body parts in his laboratory.  His fiancée, Elizabeth walks in looking like a ghoul.

 

Frankenstein – Elizabeth – what are you doing here?

 

Elizabeth – I have come with news.

 

Frankenstein – It will be news when people see that you no longer wash.

 

Elizabeth – It is no time for jokes.

 

Frankenstein – How did you get in?

 

Elizabeth – The front door was open.

 

Frankenstein – Where is that wretch Toadstool?

 

Elizabeth – I didn’t see him.

 

Frankenstein – I do not know why I pay him.  He is useless.

 

Elizabeth – I did not come here to talk about your servant.

 

Frankenstein – You should not be here in my laboratory.

 

Elizabeth – I had to come.

 

Frankenstein – I’m not sure that it is wise to be seen out looking like that.

 

Elizabeth – I have brought news which will turn your world upside down.

 

Frankenstein – Disturbing my important work turns my world upside down Elizabeth.  Now go back to Geneva and brush your hair.  I am busy.

 

Elizabeth – I am dead, Victor.

 

Frankenstein – Elizabeth, I admit you do not look yourself at the moment but I am sure that some water and a cloth will help – oh and if you tie your hair up, perhaps.  I must get on.

 

Elizabeth – What do I need to say to make you listen to me?

 

Frankenstein – I understand, Elizabeth.

 

Elizabeth – You do?

 

Frankenstein – Of course, it must be a dreadful strain waiting to be married to such a brilliant man.  You must ask yourself constantly – will I be good enough?

 

Elizabeth – Victor!

 

Frankenstein – I really must get on, my dear.

 

Elizabeth – Tell me what are you doing there?

 

Frankenstein – It is my secret work.

 

Elizabeth – You have been hanging around graveyards, digging up bodies – yes?

 

Frankenstein – Well, maybe – a little.

 

Elizabeth – You got eyeballs and a skull…

 

Frankenstein – I will change the world, Elizabeth.  I have got the bony fingers, the sloppy liver and the fat, lolloping tongue. Now if you don’t mind…

 

Elizabeth – You are going to work day and night sewing them all up in a skin.

 

Frankenstein – I am going to work day and n…  How did you know that?

 

Elizabeth – You’ve done it before.  It is what you are destined to do forever.

 

Frankenstein – What have you been drinking, Elizabeth?

 

Elizabeth – If a distinguished professor came with news, you would listen to him. Why will you not listen to me?

 

Frankenstein – I need to finish my experiment. Then I will be…

 

Elizabeth – You will still be here.

 

Frankenstein – Everywhere there will be silence as the great scientist, Doctor Victor Frankenstein enters the room.

 

Elizabeth – Think Victor!  You sew your body parts together then what happens?

 

Frankenstein – My dear, I do not have time for these silly little games of yours.

 

Elizabeth – You create a monster which makes you want to vomit.

 

Frankenstein – Ah, you see my dear, there I have you.

 

Elizabeth – What do you mean?

 

Frankenstein – My creation will be beautiful.  I have been very selective with my body parts.

 

Elizabeth – Whatever do you mean?

 

Frankenstein – All the ones with warts and bristles got thrown back into the grave.

 

Elizabeth – What can I do to get through to you?

 

Frankenstein – Now you see your silly games have not worked Elizabeth.  So run along and let me continue with my work.

 

Elizabeth – Go back to Geneva and play with your dolls, Elizabeth.

 

Frankenstein – You are going to be married to the world’s greatest scientist – is that not enough for you?

 

Elizabeth – Victor, do you not remember abandoning the monster and in return he wreaks revenge on you?

 

Frankenstein – Oh, who indeed would be clever enough to wreak revenge on the great, Victor Frankenstein?

 

Elizabeth – You have given me no choice.  Elizabeth goes into her bag and brings out a book.  She puts it under Frankenstein’s nose.

 

Elizabeth – You are not the world’s greatest scientist, Victor – you are a character in a book.

 

Frankenstein – Let me see what jokes you play on me, Elizabeth.

 

Elizabeth – Come to the sitting room, Victor.  I think you will need to sit down.

 

Frankenstein – Oh your little games…

 

Frankenstein takes the book and smiles fondly at Elizabeth. 

 

Partial blackout.

 

 

Questions to ask about the scene.

 

Plot

When Elizabeth turns up at Frankenstein’s Laboratory, he is shocked to see her.  Why is he shocked?

Elizabeth makes an announcement about why she looks the way she does.  What is it?

What has Victor Frankenstein been up to?

Elizabeth tells Victor that he created a monster.  How did he feel about the monster once he had created him?

Victor hated the monster; it appalled him so much it made him want to vomit.  What, according to Elizabeth, did he do then?

What does the monster do when Frankenstein has abandoned him?

Elizabeth makes a second shocking announcement to Frankenstein.  What is it?

 

Character

Do we like Victor Frankenstein?

Why do we like/ dislike him?

How does Victor Frankenstein see himself?

How do we know how he sees himself?

What problem has Elizabeth got when trying to tell Victor her news?

What do you think Victor thinks of Elizabeth?  For instance, does he see her as his equal?

Why do you think Victor sees Elizabeth in the light in which he does?

How do you think Victor is going to respond to Elizabeth saying that he is a character in a book?  Why?

 

Exercise

Victor Frankenstein thinks that he is so clever he does not need to listen to what anyone else has to say, especially a woman.  The objective of the next exercise is to demonstrate how important speaking and listening is.

 

This exercise takes place on a train.  Divide into pairs.  One person is to be the ticket man on the train.  He has had a bad morning, three teenagers were laughing at the boil on the end of his nose and he feels as if he wants to send all children to Mars.  The other person is a child who has bought a ticket at the station but when the ticket collector comes to check it, the ticket is nowhere to be seen.  Create a scene between the two where the child decides to tell the truth but the ticket collector will not believe him no matter what he says.  After an allotted time the scenes can be acted out.  It is also a good idea for the pairs to swap over parts so that each person can experience how frustrating it is to speak to someone who hears us but does not actually listen to what we are saying.

 

Questions to ask

Why was the ticket collector not listening to what the child had to say?

Is it right to assume that all people will act badly?

How do we feel when someone will not listen to us?

Why is it important to listen to what the other person has to say?

Frankenstein's Revenge - a play full of shifty manoeuvres and time travel.

Dare you enter The Laboratory?

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