Maurice, Dancing
The Concept The Treatment
A short while ago I tried describing Morris Dancing to some American friends and I could see they were having difficulty believing me.

Hmmm, thinks I.  Why not introduce Morris Dancing to America by way of a story involving one or more Morris Dancers...?

And so, with tongue firmly planted in cheek (not that cheek!) I began to work on some details for Maurice, Dancing (which is how I envisaged someone -  who's never heard of the subculture - would interpret the phrase).

And then it got out of hand, as these things so often do.  I'm sorry, but I can't help it.  It's the exposure to the writing of Spike Milligan, Douglas Adams, and the Monty Python crew...

One principal character arose out of correspondence with a gifted and talented friend (Dave Leigh) who accidentally introduced me to her when he mentioned Myriad Peeves in an email to me.

Immediately the name conjured up a stereotype (or as she might have said: "sterotype").

Mrs Myriad Peeves of Bethnal Green and Bolton twice yearly (to steal from "My Favorite Year").

More on Mrs Peeves:

Her first name came about because her mother liked the look of the name Mairead (Mary) but couldn't spell it properly and also didn't know how to pronounce it.  Hence Myriad.

(How she managed to not know how to spell it or pronounce it and yet still like the look of it is part of the magic of storytelling.  Or bad story planning.)

Her husband is Maurice Alphonse Gervase Peeves, a refuse collector - and proud to be the son of a refuse collector - and part time Morris Dancer with ambitions to take America by storm - if only he can persuade Hollywood that Morris Dancing is a genuine piece of cultural heritage and not just a bunch of drunk effeminate loonies prancing around whacking each other with inflated sheep bladders.  Not to mention the accordion playing.  Did I mention the accordion playing?

They have one son - Oo-ow-gerroffmefoot Peeves - so christened by a liberal-minded vicar with a malfunctioning deaf aid who mistook Maurice's protestations during a key moment of the christening as Myriad shifted her weight from one foot onto the other (which turned out not to be her other, but her other's other).

Oo-ow-gerroffmefoot's other name is Brian but it doesn't appear on his birth certificate.

The wacky adventures of Myriad, Maurice and Brian have yet to be more clearly delineated, but as long as I have a large tub of Vaseline it shouldn't take too much effort.

The treatment will be available on WriteSafe and here.

Last updated: June 2, 2002

Peter Brooks

© PC Consulting 2002