Category Archives: Loony literature videos

“Christmas Carol”- inspired by Charles Dickens.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Every year on Christmas Eve, we gather around the fire and by candlelight we read and tell each other ghost stories.  This of course is inspired by Charles Dickens, the Victorian novelist, who virtually designed our model of Christmas with his ghost story, “Christmas Carol.”  One of the aims of Loony Literature is to encourage folks and children to read more classic literature and also to use it as a springboard for their own creativity.  Therefore, for this Christmas, we have created our own comic version of “Christmas Carol” to both entertain and inspire you. 



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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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Hallowe’en Run Up – Frankenstein’s Revenge (Part 2) Frankenstein (1910 film) Frankenstein (1910 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The story so far:


Horace Gawp has visited Mistress Loony in The Laboratory feeling down in the dumps.  He has joined a drama group to perform “Frankenstein‘s Revenge – a play full of shifty manoeuvres and time travel.”  Unfortunately, when Horace turned up, all the other members had quit.  Mistress Loony tells him not to worry as they can put a performance on themselves.  They will place an advertisement in the local paper and start auditioning immediately. (To see part one click on the link at the bottom under Related Articles.)


In part two, Albert Chadwick, used car salesman, arrives for his audition.  Things do not go to plan when Mistress Loony finds out that Albert has his own ideas for “Frankenstein’s Revenge.”



The idea behind these videos is to get children writing, acting, improvising, making sets, putting costumes together, creating characters and filming.  Please join in and make it the most creative Hallowe’en ever.

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Writing – Great Aunt Bertha at The Asylum.

Frankenstein's Revenge

It’s all go in The Laboratory.

Things are frantic at The Laboratory at  the moment.  We have a children’s play “Frankenstein’s  Revenge” being thrust on the public  at Hallowe’en and I am researching and editing Mulgrave Castle which is about the psychic Victorian detective, Harriet Twine.  Therefore, I thought I would share with you how I am getting myself in the mood for both writing and marketing.

The other week I went to Lincoln prison,  a Victorian gaol in Lincoln Castle, to help me envisage what it must be like to feel like a Victorian lady. Lincoln is a wonderful place for creating writing atmosphere and this weekend, the old asylum at Lincoln will host the biggest Steampunk Festival in Europe.  The simplest way to explain Steampunk is that it is a mixture of Victoriana and Sci Fi – that is a very loose term but it gets you in the picture if you are not au fait with Steampunk.

I find that I have a Steampunk heart as the motto is “Be Splendid!”  This basically means that we should show wonderful manners and try to dress with elegance.  This really appeals to me because I hate bad manners and I love costumes.  So I decided that if anywhere was going to get me in the mood for embracing my fictional Victorian world, it has to be The Asylum.

The costume is ready – almost – but then I thought of all the folks turning up with their gadgets and inventions in the true Victorian spirit.  This was when I decided that as I had been inspired by Frankenstein, I would take my invention from The Laboratory to the Asylum.

Here is a short film about the invention I’m taking to the Asylum.  If after watching it you can’t decide whether I should actually be in the Asylum or I have just got a whacky sense of humour –can you come down on the side of the latter please?


Filed under Creative Writing, Frankenstein's Revenge, Inspiration and Us, Loony literature videos, Mulgrave Castle - Harriet Twine the Saucy

Why It Is Good To Perform Shakespeare As Terribly As Possible!

A circa 1884 poster for William Shakespeare's ...

A circa 1884 poster for William Shakespeare's Richard III, starring Thos. W. Keene. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before you decide you have never heard as much rubbish in your life – lend me your ear and I will explain.  I am positive that children can really enjoy Shakespeare if they are primed properly for it before they are thrown head first into the text in their teens.  Acting out monologues can be a useful starting point.  However, to get our wisdom across we have to have laughter and lots of it.  If we tell children they have to do it badly, they lose all their fear – they cannot get it wrong.  As confidence affects every decision we make, trying to be good at something as odd as Shakespeare when you are ten means that you want to disappear.  When you are told you have to be as terrible as possible at it, it doesn’t matter if your peers laugh at you – they is what they are supposed to do.  The bigger the laughs, the more successful you are.

Okay, so that deals with the confidence factor, now we can move onto actually teaching them something about the monologue and how it is meant to be performed.  I have added a Loony Literature video here to demonstrate what I am talking about.  The main actor is fourteen years old and is auditioning for Richard III.  The young actor in question is extremely serious about acting and can do a very convincing Richard III.  So much so, that when he performed the same monologue for a LAMDA exam, he got a distinction.  However, do you think he enjoyed filming this?  Indeed he did, he was in his element and he’s fourteen.  Younger children, therefore, will positively love being told to do something badly.

You can use the video to demonstrate how utterly badly it can be done.  Ask your child or group what is wrong with the way Horace Gaup is standing and delivering the text.  In fact, you can be sure that they will want to have a go too after seeing that!   If the children are particularly enjoying themselves, you could film it.  Playing it back would cause more hilarity and enhance discussion greatly.

Once the terrible deed has been done and the young thespians have done their worst, you can talk about the way they moved and held themselves.  We can ask them what they think is wrong with it.  How could they do it better?

We can talk about the manner of the delivery – would it be better if it was louder, quieter, slower or speeded up.  Why would that sound better?

We can talk about what the text means and what is the best way to say it – for instance when Richard III is saying that he is so deformed dogs bark at him – what sort of voice would he say that in?  He would he be feeling whilst saying those words?

I hope this is helpful,l but above all I hope that you have as much fun as we had whilst making the video.  Happy acting.


Filed under Education, For children, For Teens, Literary Criticism, Loony literature videos, Parenting

How NOT to do a Shakespeare Audition.

Loony Literature is auditioning people for Richard III.  We show how Shakespeare should not be done by a guitar playing werewolf, a modest cat called Mildred and the incredible Horace Gaup.  We must stress that no children, animals or werepeople were harmed during the recording of this video.


Filed under Education, Literary Criticism, Loony literature videos

Will Blyton – The Alternative Detective Part Four

Mr Hyde, from the Boris Death room, gets a shock when he sees himself in the mirror. Find out what Will Blyton decides when he develops the photographs from Boris Death’s old house.


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Will Blyton – The Alternative Detective video – part 3

Find out what happens when Will Blyton, The Alternative Detective, and his friend, Bongo  try to take a photograph of the ghoul at Boris Death’s old house.

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Filed under For children, Loony literature videos, Will Blyton's Diary

Will Blyton’s Diary 2

Find out what Will Blyton and Bongo see when they sneak up to Boris Death’s old house in the dark.

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Watch a Will Blyton Diary Entry.

Meet Will Blyton on video before he embarks on his adventure with The Stinking Shadow.  Find out what happens when  he comes face to face with the town bullies The Toad, Ferret and Snot

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