When I was a kid, before discussing the previous evening’s telly became de rigueur, confined to the class rooms on rainy days, we often used to play Consequences. I doubt anybody much plays it nowadays, so it was a special joy to have a workshop based on the idea. Now, for the uninitiated, this is how it goes.
You are given a blank piece of paper, and you write a name on the top of it. Any name, fact or fiction, whatever takes your fancy. Then you fold over the paper to hide it and pass it to the next person, who writes met and then adds another name. Getting there? Pay attention, please! This is then hidden and passed on. The next person adds a place, folds and passes on, followed by what happened then and lastly, a final line. Two names, a place, an event and then the consequence.
So you now have five unrelated pieces of writing and again this is passed on, to the next person who unfolds the paper and tries to make sense of the contents. Or, for the purposes of this workshop, uses it to inspire a poem, a piece of prose – or possibly a nervous breakdown. Happily, the latter did not happen.
In fact the work that emerged was often hilarious, always interesting, and certainly stretched us. Creative writing indeed. I have picked out some of my favourites to mention here. I loved idea of the Queen having a day off, incognito, and deciding on her travels to trade Phillip in for a younger model. Boris Johnson (aka Morris Morrison in one piece!) appeared with startling regularity, make of that what you will. And who could forget Ferret Gump?! There was a play on Rimbaud, the French poet, and Rambo of more recent fame, Ada Lovelace and some ghosts flitted through, along with Genghis Khan, Garfield, Bambi, and Frank Sinatra. Oh, and among the countless others was Jacob Rees Mogg and a vegan beefeater. And an inspired poem that was so good I wish I could remember it and reproduce it here.
I can’t really do justice to the variety of the ideas and the delightful exuberance of the evening. Our thanks to Mandy and Dan, you did good!!
Tesco again next week, a reading week and the optional theme is A monologue – see you there. Sally