Monday, 18 April 2011

Hollywood Babylon

Day 3 of my Easter break.  I have just awoken from a delicious afternoon nap. Yesterday's blog had a dark and tragic twist at the end.  Today I return to the more familiar Parma Violet Tea genre - farce. Today we shall reflect upon Parma Violet Tea, The Movie (Nothing Happens, Twice).  I haven't forgotten about it.  In fact, I have being giving it a lot of thought, like it is indeed, a real project. Madam Noir and I discuss it frequently.

'Do you think Jimmy Nail will agree to play Rochester then?'

'Nooooo!  I am still hoping for Javier Bardem!'

'What?  He'll never pull off a Geordie accent.  He'll call Miss Underscore 'pethal' throughout the film.  Will the audience truly believe him to be a double glazing salesman?'

'I know, he may struggle with the Tommy Cooper impersonations too. But, we're agreed on Kristen Scott Thomas for Miss Underscore?'

'Perfect.  She'll look most at home in rumpled linen trousers and ballet pumps.  Plus, she plays a very convincing nutjob.  Skinny though.  We'll have to force feed her A LOT of Cherry Bakewell Trifles. Do you think she'll agree? We're not going to end up with one of the Nolan sisters, are we?'

'I'd rather be played by Patricia Routledge than a Nolan sister. Which reminds me, no matter how MASSIVE this movie gets we must stand firm: we will not promote it on Loose Women.'

'Good heavens no.  Parma Violet Tea will never be sponsored by Tena Lady. Werther's Original, maybe. . . .'

'Oooh, by the way, I've had a GREAT idea for casting Miss Underscore's dad.'

(gently) 'Elizabeth . . . your dad is. . . dead.'

'No need to rub it in.  I know he is.  But,  I think the narrative will be enhanced by his gentle, kindly and sober wisdom. He could possibly narrate.  From heaven.  Oh, it will be SO nice to see him again. Yes, my dad will be played by (drum roll) TONY BENN!  With any luck he'll provide his own anorak and cords and thereby reduce costume overheads.'

'Genius. Miss Underscore, you do indeed think of everything. You are WASTED at the School of Hard Knocks.'

'What about you though?  We need a blonde lesbian for the best-friend role.  I know I pencilled in Doris Day, but someone alive would be preferable. If you suggest Gwyneth Platrow I may have to kill you.'

'Ah BUT, I am certain that working with you, Miss Underscore, would be a most GROUNDING experience for her.'

So, from tomorrow, I shall be blogging some pivotal scenes from the movie. I think I shall start with my first date with Senor Boldon (elder brother of Rochester and erstwhile McFlurry fluffer at McDonalds).  It will be a most challenging scene to write, as the bounder was so dour and withdrawn on the date that he only uttered about 7 words.

(For more useless information about the cast of characters in Parma Violet Tea you may like to check out my Dramatis Personae.)   


  1. Seriously though, you should write a script for TV, or at least a book - I'm a smidgen through your archives and I'm gripped. You are wasted at SOHK; but the non-blogging world's loss is the children's gain!

  2. How about Maxine Peake for the blonde lesbian best friend? She does everything else anyway.

    Also the first date: think Pinter. Agonising pauses can be really good. Alternatively, have the characters saying very little, but narrating their voluble thoughts in voiceover, like in that first-date scene in Annie Hall. Could work amazingly well.

    Congrats on your selection of Scott-Thomas. She'll nail it.