For the third in my now series of fictional character interviews, I have selected a character who it has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to write. Whenever she turns up she takes over the spotlight and I thought it would be fun to write up an interview with her. So here, I present, the former Princess Anna of Ardeluta, a lady of absolute class.
It was a passing thought- ‘I wonder if I could find the place again? Is it even still there?’ It has been a minimum of twenty years since I last saw it but it is still clear in my memory: a caravan site somewhere to the north, set on the side of a steep hill, somewhere in deepest, darkest Witch country, in the Ribble Valley. There’s a pub out front. The name of it I couldn’t possibly tell you for I can’t remember and I probably never took any notice of it in the first place. What I can recall about the pub, and this is a weird thing to remember, is that the main bar was upstairs and the staircase up to it was narrow, enclosed, and as much as I always wanted to go and see what was up there I was never allowed. I feel that if I saw the place again I would almost certainly recognise it. In my mind it seems like a pretty large chunk of my early childhood took place there.
Think of silent film and you’ll probably immediately come up with an image of Charlie Chaplin and his little tramp character- Bowler hat, toothbrush moustache, raggedy clothes, maybe a silly walk… But there was a lot more to silent film than just Chaplin and his little tramp. There was a lot more to Chaplin than just his little Tramp. Take for instance the score for Modern Times (a film that today is just as funny as it was when released) Chaplin wrote it himself and twenty years later John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added lyrics and turned it into one of the twentieth century’s greatest ballads- Smile. He was also a very clever man (despite not having much in the way of a conventional education) and he knew his business like few have since. Though silent comedy is a limited form of comedy (limited mainly to slapstick and farce) Chaplin was a master of it and without his mastery the modern movie industry would not exist as we know it. Continue reading “Charlie Chaplin’s Shadow”