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Blog: Towards A Total Hero Team

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Earlier on this summer I spent quite a while working on next year's Fringe show, which is now pretty definitely going to be called "Total Hero Team". I put it to one side about five weeks ago so that I could apply my BRANE wholeheartedly to the Dinosaur Planet live revival, but was MUSING about it whilst on holiday and have this week returned to the actual WRITING. It's been going quite well!

The weird thing about returning to the show after a few weeks away is almost being able to read it like it was done by someone else - and thus thinking "What on earth is THIS for? Why did he think THIS was funny? And how did the TUNE go for this one?" This latter has been especially fun as it means I've gone back and provided MUCH BETTER tunes for some of the lyrics - this was partly inspired by seeing Mr G Osborn at Green Man and thinking "Yes! Songs with HOOKS and GOOD BITS, that is the way forward!"

Most excitingly, the PLOT has started to gently slot together - and is starting to make SENSE. Again, this has been a bit weird as it turns out that a LOT of the MAIN points I'd originally thought of turn out to be ENTIRELY WRONG. The ENTIRE ENDING, I realised this week, completely goes against the entire THRUST of the show, and the more I looked at it the more I saw that I actually needed to have the OPPOSITE thing happen.

Another big change has been in the relationship between the two main characters - I was explaining the PLOT to The Words In My Story while we were on holiday (yes, she IS a very lucky woman, it is TRUE) and she stated some FIRM OPINIONS about the fact that they were Father and Son - why did that have to be the case? Not all fathers and sons even get ON, let alone try to pass on their entire IDENTITY, why should THAT be something to promote? In the original plot the MANTLE of a hero name is passed down in this way, and I saw that, again, this was against everything the story was about, so i AGREED with her, and CHANGED it. Now they're a pub landlord and top regular, and they both stay as they were. MUCH better!

Apologies if all this sounds a bit VAGUE and/or UNHELPFUL - if it's any help, that's exactly what it's been like in my HEAD these past few weeks! Now though the script is very nearly reaching the point where there are no GAPS - these are places where the dialogue stops, there's a paragraph that says "INTERLUDE: Something brilliant happens with Total Hero Team that leads into the finale, and has a GRATE CHORUS", then the dialogue gets going again. "Wandering Scenes" (usually things I thought would be AMUSING but didn't know where to put them) are being PINNED DOWN, and I've even managed to SHOE-HORN in a couple of OLD songs - something which I wanted to do in BOTH the previous shows, but never quite got round to.

It is, as I say, all terribly exciting and GOOD FUN too. With any luck I'll have this first draft finished in the next week or so... after which I'll probably change it all again and CUT OUT half of the "jokes" ready for the second version, and then do it all again once we have a read through. Still, it's getting close to the first big MILESTONE in what, hopefully, will be taking up large chunks of the next year. In the words of one of the lead characters: "Good eh?"

posted 30/8/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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