After I’d finally just about killed myself registering the show, Chloe phoned up in a bit of a tizz. ‘I can’t believe you wrote the descriptions of the show without my input!’ she exclaimed. ‘We’re meant to be a team!’
‘I was in a hurry…and at four pm our time, you’re not even awake,’ I countered. She gets up at midday in Boston by which hour we’ve practically gone to bed.
‘Hunh! You could have asked me a few days before,’ she answered.
This is puzzling. Like, has she been away so long she’s forgotten who her family is? Are any of us likely to get something together a few days before a deadline?
Then she said, ‘What title did you put?’
‘Er….The Jammy Dodgers Go Underground, of course, since that is the title,’ I said.
‘It’s too long,’ she said. ‘It should just be The Jammy Dodgers.’
‘But…it’s the title of the book! You can’t change it. What would Brenda say?’
‘But they might not even go underground,’ she said.
‘What?’ I shrieked, aghast. ‘Not….Go….Underground?’
‘Maybe not,’ she said. ‘Why should they?’
She’s very weird, you know. It’s like trying to do business with a slippery eel. ‘Er….because it’s in the title?’ I hazarded.
‘Not if the title becomes ‘The Jammy Dodgers.’
‘Chloe,’ I said patiently, ‘if Jem, Ned and Billy don’t Go Underground, how will they escape from the dead-house with all the nasty coffins and dead bodies in it?’
Bash and I have concluded that Chloe’s gone a bit loopy-loo. We know the plot of The Jammy Dodgers Go Underground definitely involves going underground. However, interpretation, that’s the thing with musical adaptations. Artistic licence…though we had rather too much of that the first time round in 2007. But, you know, everyone does it. Look at the Disney version of 101 Dalmations: they cut out sweet Perdita, the lost dog who helped feed the puppies! And what did Disney do to Pocahontas? And look at Spring Awakening: all those kids pulling mics out of their jacket pockets and launching into rampant anachronistic rock. Do you think Wedekind who wrote the original German play is turning in his grave? (Probably not, as he was so chillingly before his time he’s likely well chuffed.)
‘Actually, I’d better reread the book…’ Chloe conceded, ‘…as I can’t remember what bits we made up last time and what bits were really in it.’
Hmm, yes, she could read it, if our manky thumbed copy weren’t currently in Glasgow being read (out loud probably and in a sinister voice), by Mr Blood. Ooh, if I didn’t just coin a new double-barrelled epithet! ‘Manky-thumbed.’ This could well spawn a whole wave of useful others…hmm yes: ‘skanky-thumbed’ could refer to something what fell off the back of a lorry, ‘hanky-thumbed’ would refer to noses, ‘swanky-thumbed’ would be posh cars, and ‘yanky-thumbed’ would describe an obstinate nostril hair. So what would ‘wanky-thumbed’ refer to? Answers on a post-card please….