Tag Archives: They Came From Woking – July 2007

Early Notes from ‘They Came From Woking’

In ages past, I was in a play. Here are some old notes about it.

This is a page for recording ideas about Kristen McGorry’s script for a comedy play based around HG Wells’s book ‘The War of the Worlds’ and the Jeff Wayne 1978 rock opera album based upon it.

  • Have a character called Nathaniel so someone can shout out, “NATHANIEL!”
  • Set in Woking / Byfleet etc
  • Use the phrase, “The chances of anything….. are a million to one”
  • Use flare sound from first track, where Burton is describing the flares coming from Mars
  • Ominous unscrewing sound – someone opening a jar? Possibly a burglar? Tense scene.
  • Smoking the Red Weed?

Opening scene:

  1. Darkness
  2. Voiceover – hero quoting first lines from album, “Noone would have ever believed ….” through to “…they drew their plans against us”
  3. Music starts as in album
  4. lights up simultaneously, revealing character on stage in tin foil outfit on roof watching the skies
  5. possible dance routine, like ‘Thriller’?
  6. interrupted by Mum?

Settling In

That went very well last night. The last minute tweaks and figuring out where to leave stuff for easy access has seemed to work. If I sort out the Scriptless Wonder game cards on the train on the way home (or on my desk at work) I can be ready to go immediately we get there. No fussing backstage.

Couple of sound cue glitches, couple of tripped-over lines, but in general it was great. Daneeta and PJ were not disappointed (well they didn’t say so) and it was cool to catch up with them and how the film is coming on. Sounds like they might actually be finishing soon.

Over The Top…

…and down the rollercoaster!

One show down! Well that wasn’t so bad in the end. I had been really nervous about my lines, but I managed to do pretty well, I thought. I always get nervous about my lines, and you’d think that I would realise that it always goes well in the end. But it goes well in the end because of the panicked extra line-runs and rehearsals that get scheduled.

As for last night, well we had a technical run-through in the afternoon, where it was realised what a cue-heavy piece this is. A sound, light or prop cue every two minutes on average – mostly bunched together. The run-through was patchy, and we ran out of time for a proper dress rehearsal, so the first public performance was the first time we had everything ready – including the lines. But the (very small) audience were very responsive, and did their usual trick of confounding us by not laughing at the bits we thought were giong to be funny, and chuckling in the “wrong” places. I give up trying to second-guess these people, honestly.

I have friends (Daneeta and PJ) coming along tonight, so best be good!

First Night Tonight

“No turning back now, this is for real…”

The props are boxed and ready. The costumes are laid out. The script is memorised (honest). The tickets are selling. The crew are awaiting instructions. The cast are at work until this afternoon. The theatre is empty (hopefully). The pep-emails are flying. The Facebook is updated. The blog is being updated at this moment. The finer nuances of character are being finalised.

Wish me femur damage!

TCFW Props Workshop 1

How To Make Alien Insect Goggles

You will need:

  • 2x cheap white plastic tea strainers
  • white fabric elastic
  • craft knife
  • scissors
  • sticky plasters and up-to-date tetanus innoculation
  • antibacterial cleaning materials
  • metal skewer
  • open flame, like a gas hob
  • oven glove


  1. With the craft knife, cut off the parts of the tea strainers that rest on the edge of your teacup. Also cut off the handle. Clean up edges of plastic.
  2. After removing the blade of the knife from the end of your thumb, suck thumb while swearing muffledly, and pace up and down the kitchen, until bleeding slows to a slow trickle.
  3. Apply sticking plaster to wound.
  4. Clean up pools of blood using cleaning materials.
  5. Holding skewer with oven glove, heat skewer in open flame until hot enough.
  6. With skewer, melt a hole in the side of one of the tea strainers, as near to the rim as possible. Melt another hole in the opposite side. Repeat with other strainer, reheating skewer as necessary.
  7. Thread short piece of elastic through a hole in one strainer, and a hole in other strainer. This will be the nose-piece. Tie and trim elastic accordingly with scissors.
  8. Thread longer piece of elastic through the remaining two holes. This will stretch round the back of the head, like swimming goggles. Tie and trim elastic accordingly with scissors.
  9. Your alien insect goggles are now complete.

Watch out for more prop-making tips in the coming days. For the finished article, come and see They Came From Woking at the Colour House Theatre. Details below.

Official group website / Facebook event / Map to venue

They Came From Woking / Scriptless Wonder 2007

Gawd help me, here I go again! This time it’s a double bill – They Came From Woking is a new play by my good friend Kristen, about a UFO-obsessed nerd who learns that his planet is being invaded, and in the meantime learns a few things about life as well…

And then it’s a reprise of last years Times-recommended improvisation gameshow – Scriptless Wonder!

Item! There’s only 4 weeks to go, and I’m papping myself! Thanks!

Official group website / Facebook event / Map to venue