With the election looming, time for a confession. I have been politically active for a large number of years now, but I’ve never joined a party, posted a leaflet or ‘doorstepped’ a constituent. My contribution has been a little different, but still equally as important I feel: I’ve made fun of them all.
I’ve written political comedy for the radio, for television and a number of live shows. To hear your political thoughts, sketches and jokes being performed by some of the best talent in the country is a great buzz. I heartily recommend it.
The more intense the political debate, the more I felt the need to say to the politicians, on behalf of the world: “hey, look out, we’re watching you!” One memorable election night I was involved in helping to write three separate live shows, and dashed between them, ending up at 4 o’clock in the morning in London, on the South Bank of the Thames, watching a certain new Prime Minister (you know the one) being acclaimed. Heady days indeed – hmm.
This year’s election has been a bit different. I’m no longer in that topical/political world, I don’t write that sort of comedy either. I have however completed, and had published, my first fantasy book, set in the Citadel in the world of Widergard, and a lot of my time is now spent with elves, goblins and dwarves. There is a novella completed and a sequel featuring the hero Nicely Strongoak well underway. It’s the future of Widergard that has been getting my juices flowing.
Except, my world of Widergard has turned out to be a very modern place and a world that has elves, goblins and dwarves, not to mention gnomes and trolls, is a place where the politics can get very interesting, and be pretty funny, too; especially at election time! The politics of the Citadel grew, until it became a major theme, in a humorous detective fantasy book ostensibly about ‘A Dead Elf’. I guess, like many other fantasy and science fiction writers, I have hopefully created an engaging world that can take the reader somewhere else, while maybe telling us all a bit about our own society as well.
So that really should have been enough for me this election, the world of Widergard, and it was – for quite a while. And then when the UK campaigns got underway that familiar itch came over me until finally, with the help of film maker Andy Dodds and impressionist Nick Gylaw, our new You Tube Channel was launched: ‘Funnychangeseverything’. The irony is not lost on us. Back to jokes about men and women, well at some point you just have to say to all the politicians, the elves and goblins too, on behalf of the world: “hey, look out, we’re watching you!”