We have some very talented people in Rugby, and last night I, with hubby Phil, had the wonderful experience of attending the world premiere of ‘Pride and Credulous’ written by a member of Rugby Writers (and one of the founder members of the ‘Rugby Association of Fictioneers), Nick Marsh.
Nick’s good. He won a prize for ‘A Frank Exchange’ – a short play about the betrayal of Ann Frank. His dialogue is spot on, his humour risqué. The phrase he scribbled most often on my fiction was ‘SDT’ – Show, Don’t Tell!
Pride and Credulous is a clever, witty and rude short play based on Jane Austen’s novel. I won’t waste space telling you about it, just to say if you get a chance to hear it (there will be a reading in Rugby Theatre later this year, I gather), go!
The play was put on in a village hall by the local drama group. Phil and I laughed a lot. A lot of the time we were also laughing at the audience. The cast had bowdlerised it, but not enough for some of the poker-backs in the audience, who did not approve, it seemed. I had heard that although a lot of the rude jokes were removed, many of the more obscure and extremely rude jokes were left in because the cast didn’t get them!
And, because I have enjoyed some writing recently, here is my D&D backstory and I hope you enjoy it too:-
Herina pushed the embroidered drapes aside and strode into her and her mother’s rooms in the Elven hall of Dellriven. The Elven lord, Felrund, was standing by the arched window that looked over the waterfall. Her mother stood close to him. Herina dropped the heavy game bag onto the floor. Blood from the rabbits and brace of pheasant seeped into a sticky pool on the polished cream marble.
Felrund turned, saw her, and tutted.
“By the stars, Illyeda, your daughter looks more like that rogue, her father, every day,” he said, brushing a fleck of dust from his moss-green velvet robe. “A pity… such a graceless, clumsy, gawky girl. You must be mortified every time she lurches into the hall.”
Illyeda pushed her silvery hair behind her pointed ears, smoothed her white samite skirts, and stared with aloof, grey eyes at Herina. Come on, say something, Herina thought. Well, if you won’t, I will.
“I suppose you think I should be a pale beanpole like your son, always strumming that gdzarhsik lute and wailing about the moon!” she hissed.
“What did you say?” Felrund said. “That sounded like Dwarfish.”
Herina shrugged. “So I know a few Dwarfish swearwords? At least they have more guts than you lot.”
Felrund stared at her, turned to Illeyda, kissed her hand theatrically, then swept from the room, sneering loftily down at Herina as he passed.
Illeyda stepped towards her daughter. “Herina,” she said. “Must you bring your dead animals here? Must you wear such clothes?” She gestured towards Herina’s mud-splattered leg bindings and tattered jerkin. “Must you spend so much time in the woods, and villages, and hills with those – those savages?”
“You’d rather I stayed here, prancing about the terraces and pavilions in ten-foot long silk skirts and with my hair dolled up in bright red plaits? Leaning gracefully over the balconies, sucking up to Felrund’s wussy son, pretending to be dignified, pretending I can stand the endless lute music and singing to the stars like they matter? Krizikdesh, give me strength!”
“Yes! You should accept your heritage and your destiny as an elf, Herina!”
“Half- elf, half- human, remember. Anyway, sod that. All that poncing nobly around, all that chanting and woo-woo magic. No, I can’t stand another evening drifting around the hall trying to fake some interest in Felrund and his oh-look-at-us-we’re-so-beautiful cronies and the eternal boring songs about ancient history.”
She strode into her room and threw open the cupboards. As she pulled out clothes, knives, a cloak, her bodhran drum, and shoved them into a pack, Illyeda stood and watched.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“What does it look like? I’m going. I think I’ll head off to see if I can find my father. You should approve, mother. Aren’t elves keen on quests?”
Illyeda shrugged. “Quests? I think finding Andur will be more than a quest. I suppose I should try to persuade you to stay, but truly, you are not suited here. You do not fit. I will send you away with my blessings and wishes for your protection.”
“What, no ancient Elvish amulet or powerful charm? Not even a farewell chant? Mother, I’m surprised at you.”
“No. But I will give you this.” She undid her necklace and gave it to Herina. It was a simple gold chain, with no pendant.
“What use will that be? Come on, I was expected a magic ring at least. Or something, I don’t know, something father gave you.”
“You were the only thing that your father gave me,” Illyeda said with dignity, wiping a tear from her eye.
“Well, I bet I was a big disappointment to you. Right, I’m off.” Herina hoisted the pack onto her back, picked up her bows, quivers and arrows, and threw the cloak around her shoulders. “You can keep the rabbits and I’m sure Felrund will be only too happy to comfort you after I’ve gone. Any last words, any wise advice, any hints as to where my father might be?”
“Try the Torrendor homelands. Andur will probably, knowing him, be raiding settlements with other bandits, now that the empire is weakening.”
“Sounds fun. Maybe I’ll join him. Bye.”
“Farewell, my daughter, and may the bright stars shine on you, may the moon light your path, may the rains…”
Herina didn’t bother to stay to hear the rest.