Monday, May 7, 2012

Ceri Radford's "A Surrey State of Affairs"

Ceri Radford grew up in Swansea, studied English literature and French at Cambridge and started her career with Reuters. She has since written about books, TV, culture, society, male strippers and many other things besides for publications including The Daily Telegraph, the Times Literary Supplement, and Red Magazine. She currently lives, confusingly, very close to Geneva, but in France.

Here Radford dreamcasts an adaptation of her first novel, A Surrey State of Affairs:
Constance Harding: My British heroine is a 53 year-old, biscuit-baking, church-bell-ringing, hopelessly deluded meddling mother. One actress springs immediately to mind: Meryl Streep. She would be perfect, not just for her manifest brilliance, but also because she has already shown herself equal to capturing Constance by playing both a mother-of-the-bride in the throes of wedding planning (in Mamma Mia!), and Margaret Thatcher.

Jeffrey Harding: Constance’s husband Jeffrey – “a man of few words and many possible meanings” – falls short of the romantic ideal, but is not irredeemable. I could just imagine Colin Firth, with the haughtiness of his unreformed Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, and Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary, playing Jeffrey as he opens his Financial Times across the dinner table like a giant peach windbreak.

Darcy: The above brings me to another central character: Constance’s Eclectus parrot, named Darcy. Alas, the talking parrot in Pirates of the Caribbean is the wrong species; while Blu the Macaw from Rio is made of pixels. The only solution is to hand-rear an infant Eclectus and train it rigorously: the role will require the bird to swoop at a police officer while Constance is holding her husband’s antique rifle concealed within a sports sock.

Natalia and Lydia: Constance’s maid Natalia and her twin sister could quite feasibly be played by The Cheeky Girls, Gabriela and Monica Irimia, who found fame, of a sort, with their 2002 single “Cheeky Song (Touch my Bum)”.

Sophie Harding: Since it’s fashionable to cast “real people” rather than actors, for the role of Constance’s truculent teenage daughter I would send my casting director to Topshop with a megaphone and a bag of freebies. The part would go to whoever trampled the greatest number of people in pursuit of a free pair of hotpants and packet of Milkyway Magic Stars.

Rupert Harding: I’d like James McAvoy, please. There is no particular correlation between him and Rupert, Constance’s long-suffering son, who stoically resists his mother’s attempts to find him a girlfriend on the internet, but if James McAvoy was in the film then I would get to meet him and swoon in an undignified fashion.
Visit Ceri Radford's website and like her Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: A Surrey State of Affairs.

--Marshal Zeringue