Friday, February 27, 2009

How Improvised Stories Can Help Find Hidden Extremists

Merchant Taylors' School provided some excellent hospitality and entertainment yesterday. Years 7 and 8 both came up with some cracking story ideas, both of which involved super-villains with deadly facial hair.

In one, Hitler attacked Jimmy Coates using his moustache, and in the other Osama Bin Laden was using his beard as a secret weapon he'd developed to make everyone else in the world also grow a beard whether they wanted to or not - including the women.

Both were pretty imaginative and also rewarding for me to be part of, so a big thank you to Merchant Taylors' School for the warm welcome.

One thing I've found in recent events is that I've been accidentally slipping into a Scottish accent when I have to vocalise a character other than Jimmy. A very bad Scottish accent, obviously. I realised this was becoming a problem when I saw a couple of minutes of Billy Connolly on TV today and my first instinct was that he was trying to take over the world. I think the beard didn't help either.

Hitler was a refreshing change (and I bet you haven't heard that much since the thirties) because he provided a chance for me to test out my German accent.

Turns out German dictators sound a lot like Scottish villains. Who'd have guessed that?

After that, it was a bit of an anticlimax to discover that when I opened my mouth to give voice to Osama Bin Laden, he sounded like he was from Putney.

But then again, for all I know he really is hiding in Putney and has learned to blend in.

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