Monthly Archives: August 2011
Tales from Steeple Bumstead – Part 3. The casting of Lord ‘Siralun’ Sugar’s ‘Macbeth, with yours truly his long suffering producer.
Lord Sugar wants to begin casting for ‘Macbeth’ immediately. Piers Morgan and Rio Ferdinand bustled up self-importantly. ‘I’m mixing things up’, growled Sugar. ‘I’m gonna have a bird playing the lead.’ I had to translate for the assembled mass that he meant a female, rather than a peacock or chaffinch. Piers started sulking and mumbling about Sugar’s jowls. I silenced him by saying: ‘Jowls are what a lady from Birmingham wears around her neck. And you, Piers, will play Young Siward.’ Rio started smirking. ‘You can be Siward to keep an eye on him.’ They counted their lines and are both sulking.
Sugar wants someone tough and ballsy to take the title role and has settled on Cherie Blair. ‘Best have a bloke to be his wife, like in panto,’ I suggested brightly. All the men started running away, except for David Cameron who was putting his blusher on. He’ll be a natural, I’m sure. I suggested Margaret Thatcher for old king Duncan and adorable Nick Clegg with his boyish cheeks for Fleance. Banquo can be Kenneth Williams – most of the time he’s a ghost anyway. Jedward (idiots) will play Malcolm and Donalbain. Some are shuddering in horror.
‘Best have some sex, Mary’ said Sugar. ‘You’re right’, I replied. ‘Let’s have Russell Brand & Katy Perry as the Macduffs!’ He agreed, pulling his trousers back up – I’m not sure why he’d taken them down in the first place.
Looking up from my Penguin copy of the play I exclaimed ‘Ooh, there’s lots of Scottish people in Macbeth!’ To ease the load on Sean Connery, who’s playing three of them, we’ve got in Malcolm Tucker.
‘There’s never enough laughs in these Shakespeare things’, said Siralun. ‘I want some comedians to play the witches. Who’ve we got?’ he asked me.
I looked over the mass of bodies below. ‘Tim Minchin, Eddie Izzard & Bill Bailey.’ He grimaced. ‘It’ll have to do.’
There was a crash outside. ‘Who the feck put that sword there?’ Billy Connolly barged in, cork hat on head from a recent sojourn in Oz. ‘How ya doin pals? A’hm gonna play Hecate. Keep ye young upstarts in line!’ he bellowed at Tim, Eddie and Bill. It was a good thing too. Eddie and Tim were arguing about eye make-up and Bill and Tim (oof, he’s a trouble maker) about who had the longest hair. To calm Tim down, I put him on Arthur Smith’s Radio 4 Extra show and told them to ask him ‘What is your eyeliner brand of choice?’ – see, they put it on twitter.
That kept him quiet for a bit. And talking of talk, my God that George Michael does witter on. It’s lucky we’ve give him the silent part of Old Man. Of course, everyone knows it’s the Murderers who are the stars of the piece. As you can see from the cast list below. I’ve included it, in case any of you are lost:
Macbeth – Cherie Blair
Lady Macbeth – David Cameron
Duncan – Margaret Thatcher
Malcolm – Jedward
Donalbain – The other Jedward
Banquo + Ghost – Kenneth Williams
Macduff – Russell Brand
Lady Macduff – Katy Perry
Fleance – Nick Clegg
Lennox – Sean Connery
Ross – Sean Connery
Angus Flame-Grilled Burger – Sean Connery
Porter – Malcolm Tucker
Hecate – Billy Connolly
Witches – Bill Bailey, Eddie Izzard, Tim Minchin
Old Man – George Michael
Siward – Rio Ferdinand
Young Siward – Piers Morgan
The Murderers – David Beckham, Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Cole, Kylie Minogue
In my next piece, I’ll share with you the excitements from rehearsal.
The continuing story of an April night of fun and mayhem. You may wish to cross-reference with the below mentioned characters’ Twitter accounts.
After everyone had digested Gregg Wallace’s deep and meaty sausages, Russell Brand whizzed me onto the impromptu dancefloor aka skate park. As I observed before, he is very bendy. Before we knew it, we had formed the perfect conga.
In the murk at the back we thought we saw Sid James, but it was in fact all man (part centaur) Arthur Smith, who said our conga was amateur. By the time we’d completed his instructions for improvement, involving a lot of nudity, cheese and cheesy nudity, he was off rambling in his head…I mean, Kent.
Larry Lamb charged out of the nightclub, exceedingly angry at how the night was panning out and shot everyone. Oh hang on, am confusing him with evil Archie.
Shaken by the near miss with the dark Lord of ‘Enders, Wallace (formerly known as pudding face) retreated to his veg stall, where he’d created a gorgeous cake of root vegetables. He built himself a 10 foot wall of cauliflowers and hid behind it whimpering. I comforted him in my usual inimitable fashion. He passed out.
Out of the root vegetable cake burst Piers Morgan with a cheeky little hamster grin. He was artfully cloaked in leeks to hide his nakedness. Atop his cake, he declared, ‘I am the cock of the walk, but soon I’ll be a feather duster.’ Perhaps he’d consumed a magic mushroom. A gravel growl came from on high; ‘I am the real cock of the walk’. It was Lord ‘Siralun’ Sugar! Piers was so outraged his leeks fell off.
Everybody started bowing and scraping. Most of them have never seen a lord before and expected him to be wearing doublet and hose. Piers was still sulking in a corner, so I decided to take an interest in his lonely little life. I asked him what his show was called. ‘Piers Morgan Tonight,’ came the answer. ‘So tomorrow night it could be Russell Brand? Or Jonathan Ross? Or do you call it that so you don’t forget your name?’ He started crying so I comforted him in my usual inimitable fashion. He passed out.
Fed up with his lily-liveredness, I returned to the conga. I passed Pudding Wallace in a huddle, I thought with the witches from Macbeth, but it actually turned out to be the Masterchef restaurant critics in leather fancy dress.
I started chatting to the currently unemployed Freddie Flintoff. With his rippling muscles, I thought he’d be perfect for the flick I’m making next year ‘Lady Windemere’s Fanny.’ Russell’s already got his bit in the can, so to speak.
The conga had petered out so I borrowed Britney Spears’ lungs to announce that it was clean-up time, otherwise Lord Sugar wouldn’t be best pleased. Everyone gave him 417%. Creepy crawly bumlicks! Russell was hoping for a pat on the head but Sugar ignored him. Yes, you guessed it, I had to comfort him in my usual inimitable fashion. He passed out.
Sugar cleared his throat and everyone fell silent. Gosh, the power the man has.
‘I’m fed up with all my multi-million businesses. I’ve decided to put on a show. Something with a bit of weight to it. What do you suggest…?’ He looked at me.
‘Er,’ I stuttered, then caught sight of Wallace and his cronies.
‘Macbeth’ I said. ‘Lots of blood and guts and betrayal and power. Just like The Apprentice!’ There was a silence. Everyone was nervously awaiting his response.
He gave a cackle. ‘You’re on. And you’re gonna produce it with me.’
And that, my dears, is how I ended up working for Siralun. More soon!
Greetings from Steeple Bumstead. This is where anyone who’s anyone hangs out. And I mean ANYONE. Not just two-bit ‘slebs’ like Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp but real stars like Martine Twinkly-Nipples from Big Brother 417.
I was born and raised in Steeple Bumstead. In the strict religious sect, the Sisters of Hellfire. I managed to escape that and went and had a major career as a chat-show host in the States for a while. I would still be there, but Oprah begged me to quit because I was stealing all her viewers. I can never resist a plea from the heart so I returned to my alma mater (that’s not an actual place dum-dums, it means ‘old mate’ in Scottish. I’m showing how learned what I is).
By day I run my self-help group for women looking for meaningful, long-term relationships ‘Get Laid’. But at night I’m all yours. Yes, yours, you rugged, unshaven chap with come to bed eyes who’s planning to rip my clot….
Sorry, I digressed there.
Anyway, I bring you ‘Tales from Steeple Bumstead.’ So, if you’re sitting comfortably… not on a spike Douglas! (They’ve seen it all before at A & E), I will begin.
The other night Russell Brand and I went on a pub crawl. I won. My crawling is much better than his. As the night wore on, we bumped into Stephen Fry-Up! Lovely sausage sandwich he makes.
Then Russell, Stephen and I played Sardines and who should we discover but Sting!
Sting was jealous we didn’t include him in our sausage sandwich. He went to get Trudie to biff us, the big baby. She went ballistic and demanded we kiss Sting’s feet. That’s not the kind of foreplay I’m interested in. Russell didn’t take the indignation lying down and bit Sting’s foot instead.
Somewhat predictably a massive fight broke out. My money was on Russell. He may be thin, but he’s bendy. Although Sting can do those waily high notes that shatter your eardrums, which would be a novel fighting technique.
Trudie couldn’t let it lie. Literally. She flung herself on top of Russell and Sting shouting, ‘Leave him alone, he’s sensitive.’
Sting was FURIOUS with her, saying she’d EMASCULATED him. Stephen Fry waded in to split Sting and Trudie up. Trudie scoffed, saying what did HE know about marriage. So then Fry went off in a huff in search of a Turkish Delight. Jees. I decided to follow to find him being comforted in a salubrious bar (one of my favourite locals!) by Jonathan Ross. Man, that Jonathan Ross is one smooth talker! He had all the bar, including Vanessa Feltz, shaking their tail feathers on the dance floor. Gregg Wallace was a formidable mover and exceedingly masterful. I wouldn’t want to be a disobedient cauliflower on his veg stall.
As the sun came up, Russell suggested a skinny dip in the sea. Had to point out we’re in Steeple Bumstead, not California. He then revealed a glorious banquet on the shores of the Steeple Bumstead shopping centre, complete with cheesy straws and sherbet. Wallace not overly impressed by Russell’s spread (foodwise I mean). He revealed his sausages, which were certainly deep and meaty. Sting went wild for those deep, meaty sausages. Stephen Fry remarked gentlefolk should have more restraint. That’s where I’ve been going wrong!
Tales from Steeple Bumstead Part 2 to follow when I’ve digested my deep and meaty sausage.