Thursday, December 16, 2010

Freda Warrington's "Midsummer Night"

Freda Warrington is the author of nineteen (and a half) novels including Elfland, A Blackbird in Silver Darkness, A Taste of Blood Wine and Dracula the Undead. Elfland won the Romantic Times Award for Best Fantasy Novel of 2009, and her second novel for Tor, Midsummer Night, has just been published with another stunning cover by KY Craft.

Here she sketches out some ideas for casting her characters in an adaptation of Midsummer Night:
I suppose most authors indulge this fantasy – actually, I’ve shared moments of great hilarity with friends as we suggested the most inappropriate actors imaginable to take the parts in our own novels and those of other writers. Usually my characters jump into my head from nowhere, but sometimes they are inspired by real-life actors or even a face in a magazine. Would it be possible to cast Midsummer Night?

The sculptor, Dame Juliana Flagg, came out of my head, but I think there’s probably only one choice for her – Dame Helen Mirren. Dame Judi Dench has the charisma – all these dames, there ain’t nothin’ like a dame! – but I see Juliana as tallish, willowy, very attractive for her sixty-something years. Her husband Charles would have to be played by Ian Richardson as seen in his elegantly sinister role in the TV drama, House of Cards – because that’s who I had in mind when he turned up in my story. Sadly he died in 2007 so I really don’t know how to replace him.

My younger characters would be more difficult. Who could carry off Rufus? He’d need to be unfeasibly gorgeous, able to carry off long hair and colourful clothing without looking completely ridiculous. And for Leith – well, a young Rufus Sewell, perhaps. Someone who possesses an irresistible, dark Byronic beauty… I’ll have to think about that one.

I’ve seen the actor who should play Peta Lyon, but I have no idea who she is! I’d already created Peta as a character. Some time later I was watching an episode of Eastenders (a British soap) and there was a scene on a train. One of the characters was acting out their bit of drama while being looked at askance by one of the other “passengers”, an extra. I remember this extra as being arty-looking in purple bohemian-style clothing. She had a chalk-pale complexion, dark lips and blood-red hair. And I thought, oh my god, it’s Peta! So all I need to do is find out who on earth she was!

As for Colin, Juliana’s apprentice and ‘bit of rough’ from New Zealand – no question, it’s another Eastenders actor, the yummy Rob Kazinsky who played “bad boy” Sean Slater. And for Ned Badger – I think Sting, hamming it up in a dark wig, would be perfect.

Gill is half-English, half-Hindu, thin and athletic with long blue-black hair. Again, I’m stumped. That leaves me stuck on three of the most important characters, Gill, Rufus and Leith. I’ll really have to think about this. Suggestions, anyone? Who’d be a casting director?
Learn more about the book and author at Freda Warrington's website, blog, and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Elfland.

The Page 69 Test: Midsummer Night.

--Marshal Zeringue