Tagged: theatre

Lente Currite, Noctis Equi

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 5

May 30th, 1592:

Christopher Marlowe is the talk of London. Those who were in the audience can scarce relate what marvels have been conjured on the stage: they have trembled to see Faustus sign his pact with Satan, delighted at the mischief he inflicts upon the Pope, marvelled at fireworks far beyond compare. It was as if Marlowe had summoned up the very flames of Hell. All who stood within that theatre recall the moment that the gates were opened, and—though the entire troupe was present—an extra devil stepped upon the stage.

May 30th, 1593:

Christopher Marlowe is the talk of London. Those who were in Bull’s Tavern cannot say how it happened—not even Ingram Frizer, whose dagger dealt the fatal blow—though they agree it started when the bill came. Someone might have mentioned Marlowe had a debt to pay. From there things became heated: diverse malicious words were exchanged. None recall the extra figure at the table, who later slipped away.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

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Exponential Adventure at EGX Rezzed

Good news for fans of the Dungeon Lord: Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure will be making an appearance at EGX Rezzed on the 4th of April!

More specifically, a live reading of Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure will be taking place as part of the brand new EGX Rezzed Fringe Theatre. For anybody unfamiliar with the story, it’s a massively interactive fantasy parody that plays out sort of like a Fighting Fantasy gamebook, but typically involves much, much more booze. I’ll read a chunk out loud (probably with funny voices – it gets hard to tell who’s who otherwise), announce the options available to the audience, and then whichever one gets the loudest cheer decides how the story will continue.

This is essentially what I’ve been doing at open mics for the past couple of years, but instead of taking place in a dingy pub somewhere, it’ll be at London’s largest games event.

If you’d like to come and get involved, Exponential Adventure will be running Thursday 4th of April at 2pm, and go on for about 45 minutes. This should allow time for at least three readings, but could stretch to as many as four or five depending on how things go on the day. We’ll be on the ground floor of the Tobacco Dock, which is probably the second most dungeon-y venue I’ve ever had for this.

Tickets are very reasonably priced for an event of this size. If you’re already near London, twenty quid gets you in all day Thursday which will let you see my show and still have a go at plenty of games. If you’re coming from farther afield, a Super Pass for the full three days is just £44.

Also, not to pile on the pressure or anything, but if nobody turns up then I will literally be standing on stage doing nothing because interactive fiction does not work without an audience. So please do share this around!

Othello 2: Moore’s the Pity

Flash Fiction Month 2015, Day 18

Challenge #8: Write a story that opens with the first sentence from another author’s piece this month, and includes the username of a different author in a creative way. It must use at least three words of the following five words: “flash”, “flasher”, “flashers”, “flashing”, or “flashed,” and at least three of these five words as well: “viva”, “fist”, “fistpump”, “community”, or “madness.”

“This can’t be right.”

SC:\Frank.les looked up from the script. “Hm?”

S:\ebast.ian held up the proof copy of the programme, servos whining in annoyance. “It says here that the part of Othello will be played by Leonardo DeadCaprio. You can’t have a zombie playing Othello! If he’s still dead in the sequel then the whole time machine plotline just falls apart!”

“Oh.” SC:\Frank.les’ ocular LEDs flashed reassuringly. “The theatre’s looking to shore up its relationship with the zombie actors’ union. Hopefully make our performances more accessible to the undead community. We’ve also got Helena Brainham Carcass for the role of Desdemona.” She scanned a little further down the script, LEDs flashing rapidly. “Oh, wait. Deadsdemona.”

S:\ebast.ian raised a hydraulic pincer to his forehead and gave a sigh of despair that only a Mercurial thespiandroid could perform. It was perfect to within a tolerance of six point two nanofacepalms.

“This is the thirtieth century! Zombie theatregoers want zombie actors. It’s inevitable.”

“It’s madness!” S:\ebast.ian detached his hydraulic pincer and swapped it for a lifelike latex fist, which he proceeded to shake angrily. “It’s an insult to the works of William Shatner!”

“That’s what they said about the first robot actors.” SC:\Frank.les gave a meaningful flash of her LEDs. She leaned in, speaking quietly. “After all, C-3Piago was originally played by a human in tinface!”

S:\ebast.ian’s CPU fan whirred loudly for a few seconds.

“Alright,” he said at last. “We’ll give DeadCaprio a chance.”

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook Cover

Click any cover to download that book in your choice of format.

The Trouble with Tybalt

Flash Fiction Month 2014, Day 19

Challenge #9: Write a science fiction story featuring at least one non-human character. It must also include the phrase “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

“What light through yonder window breaks?

It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

“Beautiful,” whispered Splirda from the front row, dabbing a tissue to her eye with one of her many facial gnathopods. “He may be young, but I doubt there’s been such a moving performance since Lemon Nimrod originally took to the stage a thousand years ago.”

Splurg leaned forward, peering through his thick omnifocals. “I don’t get it,” he grumped. “Who’s that guy? What’s going on? Why is that battleturret made of plywood?”

Splirda sighed, exasperated. “That’s Romulo. He’s in deeply in love with Juliet, but they can’t be together because he’s a Montagen and she’s a Capulet: Montag II is stuck in a bitter war with planet Capule, much to the consternation of the United Federation of Planets. The plywood battleturret is part of a sacred Thespian tradition. They don’t use any hologimmickry in these performances.”

“O Romulo, Romulo, Wherefore art thou Romulo?

Deny thy D’era and refuse thy fame;

Or, if thou wilt not…”

“Why is the female Earth-creature flailing about like that?”

“It’s an all-human acting troupe. They’ve only got the two arms so they’ve got to move about a lot in order to convey the proper sense of drama.” She leaned in close. “If you’d gone to last week’s performance of Othello 2: Moore’s the Pity you’d know all about it. They held a very informative Q and A session afterwards.”

Splurg blew contemptuously through his five lips. “If you have to know all this stuff for it to make sense, it can’t be very good.”

Sprilda harrumphed and turned her attention to the play.

Things went on much as they had done before, and Splurg almost dozed off. But then something changed. There was a scuffle of activity on stage as the one known as Mercutron drew a raygun from his belt.

“Tribbalt, you rat-blaster, will you walk?”

“I am for you.” Tribbalt drew his too.

Romulo approached, his gently flailing arms perfectly illustrating his wish for peace. “Come Mercutron, put thy phaser up.”

But alas, it was in vain. Mercutron and Tribbalt lunged for one another, both weapons scattering really far away across the stage. As they began to grapple, blaring music rose from the orchestra.

Suddenly, Splurg realised that he was really quite enjoying this, and Sprilda knew it. “Okay,” he said reluctantly. “It’s not all bad, I guess.”

“I told you!” Sprilda beamed. “William Shatner’s the best playwright who ever lived!”


If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from Flash Fiction Month 2012 and 2013 collected in OCR is Not the Only Font and Red Herring respectively.