So many files and plans to sift through, approve and submit and legal documents to sign and return.
But its not all dry legalese; one of the more ‘fun’ aspects of planning the development of Robin’s Wood™ is sitting on the steering committee for the working party which is responsible for devising the family entertainment which, aside from the cultural and historic aspects, is probably the most pivotal aspect of the whole endeavour.
I had a ‘friend’ once who used to earn a bit of ‘cash on the side’ of his milk round earnings, by doing ‘magic’ tricks at children’s parties. He wasn’t very good at it, and the children always seemed to rumble him, with humiliating cries of ‘It was up your sleeve all along Mister, we SAW it!’, or ‘Its not the same egg, you switched it over, we SAW you!’. But this project is in an entirely different league – for one thing sulphur is banned completely for Health and Safety reasons – I mean, the Gatehouse ablaze, can you imagine the horror??!!
One recurring suggestion is the idea that the Blessing Ceremony in which I took part at Robin Hood’s Grave in 2005 be recreated for tourists at scheduled times. Gareth and I would of course play ourselves, with our ‘assistants’ being played by actresses with regional accents. The working party have suggested Charlie Hardwick and Julie Hesmondhalgh; but the roles are still in development and no decisions have yet been made.
I am, however, much too busy to commit to daily live stage appearances, as the PTB consortium has had inquiries from the Japanese about developing a similar theme park in Osaka. I know you will all be wanting to know more about it, and I can say that a Press Release is currently being prepared by our PR department, an excerpt from which follows, with accompanying image from the prospective Osaka investors:
Spokesman David Farrant says, “Robin’s Wood Japan™ takes the Robin Hood’s Grave franchise to new heights of opportunity and capitalises on the keen interest the Japanese have for all things supernatural.”
An IMAX film featuring re-enacted ceremonies featuring David Farrant, Gareth J. Medway and London actresses playing Catherine and Barbara, would play every 30 mins. in the park’s specially built theatre. Special effects include evil spirits rising from the grave, levitation, ghost of Robin Hood & prioress, etc. In David Farrant’s words, the IMAX film “has plenty of action, chills, and fun, and is designed to appeal to all ages.”
Of course, like everything else in this fast-moving business proposal, Robins Wood Japan™ is entirely dependent on capital funding and particularly the negotiations between Japanese and UK investors, however I would be expected to be in Osaka for the ribbon cutting on or about 2014. So it appears that I’ll need to plan for a “bolt hole” where I can lay my weary head in Amagasaki or some such suburb of the city, in addition to the one already needed in West Yorkshire! Speaking of the cottage, more on that in 2 weeks time I hope, paperwork pending.
Almost forgot, more about the proposed theme park IMAX film. It has been suggested that, like young Daniel Radcliffe, Gareth and I would be spending considerable time in safety harnesses hung from the studio ceiling in front of a special effects green screen in order to shoot the various flying sequences needed for the film (Seems there is some kind of showdown of magical powers culminating with an aerial “chase” through the forest.) Della is seriously unhappy about this part of the proposal, though I managed to convince her its only a ‘one off’ (rather, one offs) in the preparation of the film.
Personally I would feel quite safe in harness, as I am sure Gareth would also do, and I wouldn’t have to exert unnecessary pressure on my weak left foot. Della has pointed out that Gareth and myself, unlike Daniel, are not so young and therefore might not enjoy 8 to 16 hour working sessions in such discomforting conditions, however since this is all in the proposal stages I suppose I need not worry about it, since if and when it comes to pass I will deal with it. And am sure Della will come round to my way of thinking – she usually does and I do have my ways of persuading her.
But seriously everyone, once the scenes have been shot successfully it wouldn’t be necessary to get into the harnesses again. What will be challenging will be getting an actor to play Gareth (well I do give him nights off occasionally) who is capable of learning all that Greek chanting. I mean, Gareth can go on hours at a time in this fashion (as he did at the real Blessing Ceremony in 2005), but it is certainly a specialist skill. The most likely scenario is that we will recruit within the local Pagan community, which would certainly give these tri-weekly reenactments an extra dimension. Am sure there are lots of people involved there who would clutch at the opportunity to become a budding actor.
Anyway, back to Muswell Hill via Japan and Calderdale; Della and I got some Cockburns earlier, which was a bit annoying as we wanted Madeira really as Della is making porto pollo tonight. She needs it to go in with the chicken, and adamantly refused to allow me to open the bottle until the sauce was ready. Well it smells really nice, but I don’t know what I’m looking forward to most; supper or my well deserved port!
Things happening rather quickly at the moment everyone, as you might have gathered, but look on the good side of it for a change; the quicker they happen, the more need for Blogs!
Yours for the moment,
Just wanted to add that Gareth called and said he’d be “most agreeable” to spending 8 to 16 hours in a harness, and asked if the harness was leather or vinyl, studded or unstudded, and would he be able to keep it after the filming was finished? I patiently explained to him that the IMAX film was only part of a much larger proposal and was entirely dependent on funding beyond the present seed money, so let’s not worry so much about minor details like harnesses and such. But that’s just Gareth, lucky really to have such an enthusiastic volunteer always ready and willing to jump in and sacrifice for the cause!