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Princess Pumpalot: The Story So Far

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Writer/Producer of Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess, Robin Mitchell, explains how the Princess came about.

While on holiday in Ireland in August 2011, the children's character Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess was born. I was staying with family in Dublin and on one particular rainy day, the idea for a farting princess was hatched.

It was the name – Princess Pumpalot - I liked at first. It made me laugh. It made anyone I told laugh. I instantly saw Princess Pumpalot as a ‘tom boy’, so introduced her to the game of rugby. She needed a sidekick, so Guffy was born.

The other characters inhabiting the fictional world of Wiffyville (The King, The Queen, The Two Princes’, The Low-Flying Gnomes, Geoffrey the Giraffe and the Bearded Witch) took a little more time to develop.

The book was published in July 2012 and shortly after this I met Theatre Director Liam Rudden, who liked the story so much, he suggested producing a stage show based on the book. Well, I didn’t expect anything to happen overnight but when you’re dealing with Liam, things tend to happen before you even suggest them. So by the summer of 2013 we were producing an Edinburgh Festival Fringe show which premiered at The Assembly Rooms.

I’ve been asking as many people as I can who buy a copy of Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess to take a photo of themselves with the book. The photos have been added to Flickr online and by October 2015, over 200 photos had been uploaded to the site.

There was such a great response from 2013 show both from the audiences and the critics we knew we had created an enjoyable child-friendly production. Plans were soon underway for the 2014 show which took place at The New Town Theatre and our third incarnation was staged in August 2015 at Sweet Venues in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.

Also in June 2015, The Italian premiere of Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess with a stage production, based on the original text of the book, took place in Northern Italy. The production was performed by the Benvenuto Players - an English speaking Youth Theatre Group run by Theatre Producer Alison Parnell.

A new show has been written for the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, called Princess Pumpalot: The Radio Show - Live On Stage! I based the new story around Princess Pumpalot and Guffy’s quest for the powerful purple super-farting bean. An early version of this show was tested at The Leith Festival with a lot of positive feedback.

On the back of the Fringe shows, the animation rights were snapped up by Mandragora Productions and Arcus Animation Studios. I never realised farting could travel so far. It’s quite remarkable how the Princess has taken off. She’s certainly gone from strength to strength and she hasn’t finished farting yet.

 

What's Happening Next

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2015 was quite a year for us with a variety of interesting projects including further development of Wiffyville Royalty - Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess (both book, stage show and animation) and the première of our new play May I Have The Bill Please?

2016 will kick off with another film project with Relationships Scotland which we're very much looking forward to. We then turn our attention to the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe (more to follow).

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Seasonal Greetings

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Seasonal Greetings from all the team at Cadies Productions.

Wishing everyone a safe and successful 2016.

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The National Film Archive of India

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In advance of World Mental Health Day (2015) on Saturday 10th October, Breadmakers will be screened at The National Film Archive of India (NFAI).

Breadmakers is a short 2007 documentary film directed by Yasmin Fedda and produced by Jim Hickey and Robin Mitchell. This is a film about a unique Edinburgh bakery, where a community of workers with learning disabilities make a variety of organic breads for daily delivery to shops and cafes in the city. The Garvald Bakery is part of a centre inspired by the ideas of Rudolf Steiner where the workers realise their potential for self-discovery and creativity in a social environment.

The theme of World Mental Health Day (2015) is ‘Dignity in Mental Health'. #WMHD

 

 

Edinburgh Fringe Review MIHTBP?

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This is a review for 'May I Have The Bill Please? (MIHTBP?) which appeared in Broadway Baby on 10th August 2015. Some really nice quotes in this piece.

Like every other animal on the planet, humans need to eat in order to survive, but arguably no other species has developed such complicated social etiquettes around the consumption of food. Anthropologists will explain how, down the centuries, meals have been shared, though largely domestic affairs which have helped reinforce our place in the pecking order. This has become more complicated since some of our meals have shifted into the public space of a restaurant, where somebody else ends up doing the cooking and serving.

Arguably the hardest role is given to Blair Grandison who, as the waiter Samuel, ably portrays his growing stress behind a professional fixed smile.

As the title suggests, Robin Mitchell’s May I Have The Bill Please is focused on that potentially tricky point of any restaurant meal when the matter of payment arises. What is less obvious, at least from the advertising poster, is that the focus of the script isn’t the waiter, but on four diners – two couples who are on what we learn is a semi-regular meal out together. While they’re clearly known each other for years, that doesn’t mean sorting out the bill will prove easy.

In some respects, this has a hint of Men Behaving Badly – albeit “10 Years Later”. It’s a situation comedy, grounded on solid characterisations, that exploits some all-too-believable cracks in people’s relationships while ensuring there’s no fundamental change to the characters by the close. The humour – and this is a genuinely funny show – simply comes from watching how the characters reveal themselves while interacting with each other.

There’s no-nonsense Chris (John McColl), the self-declared “Pilton’s Poirot” who is determined not to pay an additional tip to the waiter when a service charge is already included on the bill. There’s his partner Sandra (Donna Hazelton), increasingly weary of his intransigence while proving equally stubborn – it’s she who determines that, on this occasion, everyone should just pay for what they ate. In marked contrast, there’s keen-to-please Michael (Edward Cory) and Emma (Lindsey Lee Wilson), neither as assertive as their friends, though not afraid to criticise them when Chris and Sharon pop outside for a nicotine boost.

A few stuttered lines notwithstanding – and this was an early performance – the cast are uniformly focused; that said, arguably the hardest role is given to Blair Grandison who, as the waiter Samuel, ably portrays his growing stress behind a professional fixed smile. In a deft directorial stroke, he also shows all the audience members to their seats before the show starts, which helps make you feel a safe part of this particular lunchtime dining experience. Perhaps he deserves to be on the poster after all.

Tags: Festival
 


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