Call Me Silvie II (Îsle de Trésor)
The Concept The Premise
It began life as "Call Me Silvie" and things went downhill from there...

The latest version of the story is still a combination of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Treasure Island, but with more haut couture and a little cordon bleu thrown in for good measure (for example, today's menu features charançon de biscuit à l'orange - biscuit weevils in orange sauce).

Imagine Jolly Olde Englande in the days of Blackbeard the Pirate (early 1700s), when conscription was all the rage and you could say your sooth professionally for a groat a session as long as no-one reported you as a witch.

Imagine also Rumblestiltskin James Ladd (played by Woody Allen), a professional Sayer of Sooth from New York (in the days when New really did mean New) trying to eke out a living - and we're not talking major eke here - in Plymouth Ho!, whence he had gone to ply his trade and plight his troth based on a misunderstanding of the meaning of Ho! and the phrase "Holly Gail".

R. Jim Ladd is the unfortunate victim of a press gang (and we don't mean the editors of the New York Times) and is conscripted into the British Royal Navy after accidentally accepting the King's Shilling - or was it the Queen's Purse?  There's a lot of historical - and hysterical - research to be done to give the story that sense of authority (in fact, any sense at all).

Actually it wasn't so much the Queen's Purse that got him conscripted as the cosh on the back of his head...

After only a few weeks at sea Jim found his sea legs - someone locked them away in the aft stowage for a lark - and he has finally stopped letting go for'ard due to severe seasickness.  If he's lucky, he will also soon stop letting go aft quite so often too, although that's rather dependent on avoiding the weevils in the ship's biscuits...

The naval vessel The Good Ship Stewart Martha - on which our hero is currently learning how to buckle his swash, polish his cutlass, shiver his timbers, splice his mainbrace and load his musket - is suddenly attacked by the pirate ship Chock Full o' Bar Stewards, manned by none other than Long Johns Silver, the most fearsome pirate this side of the Spanish Main.

The luckless Jim and a few other survivors are hauled off by Long Johns' crew to Camp Treasure Island to learn how to be pirates.  Among other things Jim invents the wooden leg while trying to build a pipe rack, and shortly afterwards creates the bagel. 

Under Jim Ladd's influence, however, it isn't long before Long Johns is, alas, afeared - not fearsome - and more concerned with selling a franchise for Jim's latest creation, a pseudoParis parfum, El Hedor del Pirata (Stench of a Pirate).

Treasure Island - now renamed Îsle de Trésor courtesy of Jim's new ideas - becomes a training camp for old buccaneers to learn how to become one of the New Pirates, as LJ's followers style themselves.

We follow Jim's adventures as he attempts to turn his misfortune into fortune all the while filling the pirates' minds with angst and self-awareness, and all some more of the while cunningly planning a cunning plan to get himself back home to his Plymouth Ho! and his search for Holly Gail.

The plan is so cunning that its left hand doesn't know that its right hand is sneaking up behind it with a large mallet.  Holly Gail is in fact Long Johns' Moll (does that make her Molly Holly Gail?) and Jim must help her to choose between them (by devising a version of "Blind Date" in which he, Long John and Long Johns' talkative Greek South African gray parrot, Testicles, vie for being the most charming).

Eventually our hero escapes (our hero is Jim, by the way - in case you hadn't guessed) with Holly Gail, and with Long Johns Silver in hot pursuit (on account of accidentally dropping chili powder into his pantaloons) the pair flee across the one...two...three...Seven Seas and home to Plymouth Ho! where the law and Long John finally meet in a duel to the almost but not quite death, and everybody lives happily ever after.

The work is being partly developed using ScreenPlay Systems' Dramatica Pro V4 and may use other tools developed by ScreenPlay Systems.

The premise is available on WriteSafe and here.

Last updated: October 10, 2002

Peter Brooks

© PC Consulting 2002