Double Act

Created by Liam O'Hara, The Pitch 2022

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Bitter character comedy with a surreal edge, influenced by the glass-half-empty humour of Hancock (Tony... not Matt) and Withnail; Caprice Solomon - superstar stand-up - just had a disastrous gig. She’s not funny anymore. Deep down she knew that before the curtain went up. She dives into her hotel swimming pool to forget about everything and drop acid. But moments before her trip, Bish - the puppet sidekick from her kids TV days - surprises her. The puppeteer is right there too in his speedos. Doing the voice. Is she imagining all of this? But Bish has brought a list - something Caprice remembers writing a long time ago… her comedy rules that were to be followed forever. She’s broken every single one recently and this is an intervention. Bish has come to save her from herself. Caprice angrily shoves the puppet down onto the tiled swimming pool floor. Amongst the whirlpool, her rise to the top is revisited and the lifestyle that has ruined her flashes before her eyes. But fur floats. Puppets can’t be destroyed easily. And in those waters Caprice must confront the choices made that have caused her comedy kingdom to crumble.

Biblical Connection

“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom,” Solomon once said. How this character lost that sense of respect for God and ended his days in sorrow, shame and regret is dealt with in a fascinating way in the bible. My interpretation is that Kings and Proverbs create the set-up, Deuteronomy delivers the punchline and I have drawn on that moment - from Deuteronomy 17:14-20 - for the focus of my adaptation of Solomon’s fall from grace. The way this particular passage makes Solomon (and for me, it clearly is directed at Solomon) the butt of a joke is something I find very amusing. The tone of this ‘gag’ on him feeds nicely into my concept of Solomon as a stand-up comedian. I suppose I’m looking to mine the dark humour I find running through the bible and I find it most prevalent in this tragi-comic fable of rise and fall. What qualities get someone to the point of superstardom? How does a wise and popular larger than life character deal with being the punchline for an anecdote warning against excess? Why reject God when it's going so well? These are the questions I want to explore.