The Public House Brand are in the process of developing various screenplays, novels and stories. We are very interested in getting these to the finished stage and working with new writing and film making talent. Please get in touch at our email address/Twitter account (below) if you’d like more information.
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My friend Dean texted me, asking me at random, to think of an idea for a TV show.
He said: “If you could write your own TV series, what would be the theme, the backdrop, the story? Go…”
I started texting a reply without really thinking, just words off the top of my head.
I didn’t take the idea seriously, at first.
But as ideas go, they grow.
Characters began to take hold, form.
A plot surfaced.
There were scenes, links, connections, a web.
Quite soon an obsession filled my head, only for a day.
I wrote the story in a day.
I see this for TV, although I know nothing about TV writing.
There are seven characters.
It could be a long show, seven characters, seven seasons.
Or it could be short show, one season, seven characters, seven episodes.
The likelihood is I’ll turn this into prose as I know it.
Maybe a 500 page novel.
Maybe a 150 page novella.
Or maybe just this rough synopsis, squeezed into the confines of a single page to fill my epic Scenes from The Sunday Lap Dance Show?
Maybe it will be a future collaboration with the author of Blood and Gravity Dean Gordon?
Maybe it will be a forgotten thing?
But in my experience it’s always best to write these things down, while they’re fresh…
Chain of Addiction
Set in the city of Nottingham.
Gordon Joseph, 33, is a recovering alcoholic. He is approaching his first year of sobriety, his re-birthday. He hasn’t used AA, or any support group or therapy. It has been DIY. Being a book addict he has taken the recovery into his own hands via self-help, psychology, philosophy, biography, fiction and spiritual healing. It has worked. Yet as the year of sober completion looms another addiction has formed: sex. Gordon has become a sex addict. He spends up to an average of three hours a day surfing the net for porn. He watches and watches and watches. It is rotting his brain. He can’t close his eyes without seeing images. His choice of porn has gotten darker and weirder, if for nothing else than pure curiosity. When not at his laptop he is chasing the casual string of girls he has. When that fails he visits women advertised on page 17 of the Evening Post. Gordon recognises the replacement sex has had over booze, and the similar damage it is doing: finances, relationships, jobs. In fact Gordon loses one over it. Several girls he has been having a fling with from the office turn so sour. And he also gets caught having sex in the store room. He tries to explain that he has an addiction but the boss just laughs in his face. He gets his cards. On the way home he bumps into Terry Moran, a tough old boy he used to go drinking with. Terry is big and intimidating and bullies Gordon into going for a drink with him. Gordon orders a non-alkie and Terry leans on him to have ‘a proper drink.’ Terry, who clearly has alcohol issues of his own resents Gordon’s sobriety and new healthy appearance. Terry becomes quite aggressive and persuasive and having just lost his job Gordon nearly buckles. They take seat and are joined by more of the pub lot. They too rip into Gordon. Gordon then notices a dark flicker in Terry’s eye and remembers something …he has slept with Terry’s daughter. As he talks with Terry he keeps getting flashbacks of fucking Terry’s fat daughter, who freakishly looks just like Terry. He is both disturbed and terrified. All of a sudden he is convinced that this is a set-up. Either to get him pissed again or an ambush for the daughter. Either way he has to leave. So he does. Out the back door. This in ‘pub etiquette’ is a big no no. And now he has Terry Moran after him whether he knows about daughter or not. He’s dying for a drink, more than ever. So he jumps on the tram quick to avoid diving into a pub. Once on the tram he notices a girl opposite him. She is mind-blowing: small, brunette, beautiful, elegant clothes that hug her curves. She wears little intellectual glasses. And she is reading Simone De Beauvoir. This is all too much. He tries to catch eyes but to no avail. He tries to speak but his words get stuck. Seducing girls is his full time job but this time he is out of his depth. Yet, he can’t let her go. So he doesn’t. He follows her off the tram and up the street. At last he says something, “I’ll be ya Sartre.” She turns and smiles. He’s sure that the intellectual reference will get him a conversation…at least. Instead she looks him up and down mockingly, especially the crotch area. Her beauty disappears into a cold expression. Then she says something nasty at him. He’s sure it’s in French. And leaves. Gordon is so turned-on by the girl that he wanders the streets looking for a newsagents. There he gets a newspaper and calls up a personal services line. He arranges to meet. Only he gets to the ATM to find he hasn’t enough money. So instead he tours the red-light district. At last he meets some skagged-out toothless prostitute and they do it down an alleyway. Gordon goes home, feeling low. He is 33 and still living at home with his mum. When he tells his mum that he’s lost his job she’s convinced he’s back on the booze. With his poor work history Gordon struggles to find work. He can no longer afford to go out on dates or pay for sex. Porn gets out of control. Soon he sells his laptop. So he can visit more street prostitutes. The girls are very different from the ones out the paper, yet still he manages to sleep with them. Now he has to use his mother’s computer in the front room to watch his porn. Several times he nearly gets caught. He takes wild chances, even when she is upstairs. One day he visits a site he isn’t supposed too. It’s an accident. Suddenly his face is on camera and a little alarm goes off. The screen is jammed. He is told that Nottinghamshire police are on their way. It states that even if he turns his computer off he can still be traced. Gordon has no choice but to take the PC out the house, carry it to the nearby park and smash it up in the bin. Having little knowledge about technology he wonders if his address can still be located. Now he has another problem to face: Mum. He thinks about saying they got burgled. Then that he had to sell it to pay off a debt to gangsters because of a new gambling addiction. In the end he comes clean, tells the truth. He tries to convince her it was a regular porn site only she won’t listen. She freaks, kicks him out. He moves into an old alkie mate’s flat. He’s at rock-bottom. Yet still he fights off the booze. Despite his situation he manages to raise enough coin to visit street prostitutes. One of the girls he meets is a little blonde called Gemma. Something immediately strikes a chord with Gordon. She is so small with child-eyes, a near mute. Despite his raging drive he finds that he can’t have sex with her. Instead he just sits and talks, talks like he’s never talked before. He stays with her in her den. While she uses he sleeps next to her. It’s the first proper sleep he’s had in ages. When he wakes he feels different. The insane sexual drive he has had has dissipated. Now he has had new addiction, to save this girl at any cost. To save…
Gemma Nicholls, 22, is a heroin addict. It is hard to decipher how she feels about having this new man around. She barely talks, just the odd word. Nor does she seem to show any emotion. We just see her living in a routine of buying junk and selling herself. We don’t get to find out much about her except she has an uncanny skill of turning up at crucial times. She wanders in and out of events, soundlessly. The only piece of the past we see is a photograph of a small girl. Now this could be a daughter, or sister, or even herself. We never find out. Her detachment serves to keep Gordon addicted. He keeps her place tidy, feeds her, lies with her at night. Never sex. Soon her pimp is released from prison. His name is Slip. Slip muscles his way back in and bullies Gordon out the house. Gemma’s life gets ugly, abuse, sexual and physical, although Gemma appears to be emotionally impervious. A few times Gordon returns only for Slip to bully him away. One day Slip really does a number on Gemma and for the first time we see her cry. It looks as if this time he is going to kill her. Only Gordon turns up. There is something different about him. He has fire in his eyes and looks frightening. The soft caring lover had disappeared and has been replaced by a fearless madman. It is then that we see the bottle in his hand. Gordon batters Slip, knocking him down a flight of steps where he breaks his neck. He checks for a pulse. There isn’t one. He comforts Gemma and for the first time she returns some affection. “Go!” She whispers in his ear. Gordon goes on the run. Gemma is taken into hospital. The police see how battered she is and the corpse of the known pimp, drug dealer and put two and two together: self defence. Gemma gets proper care and support and a year later she is on the road to recovery. She has her own place and is working through a methadone programme. Gordon is still on the run even though he is presumed innocent. Gemma knows he has saved her life. When out walking one night she sees a man on Trent Bridge, about to jump. This is…
Tyler English, 37. His real name is Owen Robbins. Tyler is an award-winning NLP practitioner, motivational speaker, life-coach and author of the best-seller book Giant and the beanstalk. “Don’t try and talk me out of it.” He says to Gemma at the bridge. As always Gemma never says a word. She just stands there. As with Gordon her presence has an effect on Tyler and he steps down from the bridge. He keeps talking and talking. His speech and gestures are manufactured. Yet the content is of a broken man. Gemma soundlessly walks on and Tyler follows her back to her place. Despite providing him with ‘shelter from the storm’ Tyler makes various comments about her humble abode. “How can anyone live like this?” She makes him a cup of tea. Tyler then goes into his story. “Haven’t you heard of me? Don’t you know who I am?” He tells her about his rags to riches story, then his riches to rags. How he started off as a gambling addict before turning his life around with NLP. He tells her about the money and the women. His addiction to both. How by the time he was 35 he had an unbreakable spirit and epic bank account. But how others accused him of narcissism, how his ego was out of control. He had women on tap and broke hearts monthly. But then one day while giving a seminar he met a French girl in the audience who gave him shit. He liked this challenge, different to the girls who normally fawned all over him. She was unbelievably hot and super sharp and intelligent. And we see it is the girl we met earlier with Gordon on the tram. Tyler tells us of a cat-and-mouse destructive love affair with this girl. One of power and greed. How the French girl never ‘put out’ but always gave the illusion that she would. It’s evident that Tyler’s addiction is with the power of not being able to conquer her. It drives him insane, leads him to ruin. He becomes deluded and believes he is in love with this girl. One day he receives an anonymous tip-off to visit a particular porn site. He does. Once there he witnesses his French lover kneeling in the middle of a circle of black men. The scene sends him over the edge. He tries to find her but she is gone, banished to obscurity. Tyler falls into depression. He gives seminars but looks a wreck. There is a whole comical episode where we see his hypocrisy. Talking like a winner yet looking like a loser. With the porn image in his mind he one day makes a racist comment in front of an audience. The news breaks, his book sales plummet and his whole reputation is left in tatters. He returns to the gambling and loses everything. And this is where he is now. From a playboy mansion to a wardenated flat with a mute recovering addict. Her presence however has worked again. Something has clicked into place for Tyler, even though Gemma hasn’t really spoken. She does however at the end. She says, “Was she really that beautiful?”
Bridgette Delpy 22. We see her face in the mirror. Yes she really is that beautiful. Behind her is a library of books. Her phone goes and we hear her making arrangements to meet some man. She speaks very provocatively, describes what she is wearing and what she is going to do to him. She gives a time and a place. Says his name, “James.” There is also an impression that she has been making him wait. “Tonight, at last.” She gets on the tram. Men look at her. Yet the only one she looks at is a Rasta with his eyes closed listening to music. We see her at university. Her character is revealed, smarter than everyone else, arrogant, cold, dismissive. She belittles a girl working in the cafeteria. She talks about high standards. On the way home she texts James just twenty minutes before she’s supposed to meet him. She cancels, yet the message is overly apologetic and gives the promise of a future meeting. Moments later she sees the same Rasta on the tram. He is with a friend this time. She eyes them both. They follow her. She leads them both home, and fucks them. We see more of her cruel life, especially with men. She has about half a dozen white men who she leads on but never sleeps with. She takes money off them. By day she is conservative and studios. At night she goes to underground Bashment clubs. Sometimes she is the only white person/girl there. She is always dressed conservatively, suit, glasses, hair up. One night she has group sex in the toilets. She is passed around and appears to love it. One weekend she goes back to France. A suburban middle class family. “When are you going to settle down Bridgette?” Back in Nottingham one night and she visits another club. She flaunts with the giant bouncer on the door, only he pays her no mind. Tonight she is extra drunk. For the first time she is playing ‘hard-to-get’ with the black men, like she does with the white guys. She has caused a sensation in the bar. Some of the black girls have clocked her game. One of them takes her to one-side. “I’ve seen you before. What is it about our men you love?” Bridgette replies in drunken intellectual slurs.” The only word the girl hears is primitive. The girl goes crazy and steams into Bridgette. Other girls join her. The club goes up. The men she has been winding up all night stand around watching, laughing, bumping fists. Bridgette is getting pulverised. Then the bouncer from earlier tears through the club, pulling away bodies as he makes his way towards her. He flings them off. People cuss him down. “Honky lover.” He carries her to a back room. Applies first aid. Gives her water. She studies his face, his abnormally big arms. He tries to talk her into going to hospital but she refuses. Tries to get her a cab home, again refusal. She says she has nowhere to go. Talks him into letting her to back to his place. The other doorman rip him as they leave. At his house they talk, connect. She tries to seduce him but it doesn’t work. “You’re not my type.”” She says: “Because I’m white?” “Because you’re a woman?”
Tyrone Rock, 41. Wakes up with a girl in his bed. She is bruised and beautiful. Before she wakes he takes out some paper and begins to sketch her. Boy has talent. Bridgette wakes and catches him in the artistic act. She laughs, says “what kind of brother are you?” It’s evident that the soft vulnerable Bridgette has gone and the cold arrogant one has returned. Tyrone is offended, says. “And you wonder why you took a beating last night.” He calls her a racist and she denies, using intellectual jargon. She stops mid-sentence, realising how ridiculous she sounds. She questions him about his sexuality. He’s defensive at first, later opens up. It’s the first time he has really talked about such things. Bridgette clearly displays supreme acumen in psychoanalysis. They have another warm moment like last night. Tyrone goes to the gym. He spends the day there. We see steroid use, and his addiction to size. Constantly measuring himself, cheeking the mirror. We later see him at work. He gets lots of stick for going home with ‘the white girl.’ Tyrone is by far the biggest of the doorman, yet we see he has a low status and is at the centre of some kind of bullying. He doesn’t quite fit. They sniff coke, he doesn’t. They talk about violence, he doesn’t. They pull and flirt with girls in the queue, he obviously doesn’t. At home his friendship/therapy with Bridgette continues. Only it is a two-way therapy. “You’re not like any of the black men I’ve ever met.” Again Tyrone is offended. Only Bridgette is totally unaware of the racist she is. “How can I be, all the time I spend with them.” Tyrone points out her behaviour, the words she uses. Throughout Tyrone gets several health scares, heart murmurs, high blood pressure. Yet he never thinks he’s big enough. We find out bits from his past, younger brother Marcel: a gang-banger, dead two years ago. Homophobic father, absent. His mum whom he adores, the only human other than Bridgette that knows about his sexuality. With encouragement and support from Bridgette the two visit a gay club. Tyrone is so uncomfortable. Bridgette gets him to drink a little. He does, loosens up. Feels at home. Talks with strangers. Gets experience and an education from this night. Makes a lifelong bond with Bridgette. Later he meets another big black man, who is feminine. An onlooker from the street sees the three leave the club and get into a taxi. Back at Tyrone’s Bridgette watches them have sex while masturbating. Only Tyrone is unaware that he has been spotted earlier. News spreads. Back at work and the other doorman make sly comments, jokes, innuendos. Tyrone can’t take it. His normal passive way breaks at the pressure. That night a group of old gangsters come to the club. They get a table. Order champagne. They hear the rumours and start making comments to Tyrone. The leader is vicious. Throughout the night he keeps calling Tyrone ‘GG.’ At last Tyrone confronts him, “what is all this GG business?” The leader looks right at him and says, “Gay Gorilla.” Tyrone snaps and despite the man’s tough reputation Tyrone takes him apart. Onlookers are shocked as the gentle giant turns into a raging monster. Others try to drag him off but it is hard work. The man is taken into hospital and he is…
Terry Moran, 50. He is the man we met at the beginning with Gordon Joseph. Terry, red-faced and overweight lies in hospital. Hoards of people visit. People out of the woodwork. Old gangsters, ex’s, the young and up-and-coming. Many of them make promises to get him ‘sorted.’ Only Terry is very adamant that he doesn’t want this to happen. They agree, assuming Terry means he’s going to get him his self. Only they don’t recognise Terry. He’s changed. Quiet. Pensive. Reflective. Even a little emotional. He says things like “I deserved it. It was a long time coming.” After a while, one visiting time, he has an outburst and all these ‘fake bullshitters who he hasn’t seen for years.” The next day a tall thin man comes to visit him. He is obviously a man of high ranking. Tells Terry to ‘get a grip.” Terry tells him that he has got a grip. He gives a self-destroying speech about how he’s been living a lie and how ‘the life’ is bullshit. Thin Man is offended, tells him to hold his tongue. Then tells Terry that he’s been ‘washed up’ for years. “An embarrassment, hanging out in Wetherspoons with old tramps.” He tells Terry that he can’t just ‘walk out’ and that he owes him. Terry tells him to take the lot. In hospital Terry is bored, TV and magazines can only do so much. Then one of the nurses appears. Terry hasn’t seen her before. As she opens the curtains we see it looks like our enigmatic Gemma, although it is only very vague. She leaves a book by his bed. Terry picks it up. Thus Spoke Zarathrustra, Friedrich Nietzsche. He opens. Terry leaves hospital. Already he looks dramatically different. Lost weight. Clearer complexion. Sparkle in his eyes. Six weeks off the booze. He returns home to find everything gone. Thin Man has rinsed him. Terry doesn’t care. Finds new digs. Keeps reading Nietzsche. Most words he doesn’t understand. So he has a dictionary near-by. We see him out running, eating well. He makes contact with his ex-wife. Who at first is scornful but slowly forgives after seeing the change in his ways. We also meet his son, a down syndrome boy. He builds bridges. One day he bumps into Tyrone Rock. At first Tyrone gets ready for conflict. Terry holds out a hand. They talk. Both men have gotten slimmer, Terry less fat, Tyrone less muscle. At first they barely recognise each other. They talk for while. Trivial at first. Then deeper. Surprisingly they have much in common, both in exile from a former world. “Where do you go from here?” Terry asks Tyrone. Tyrone has an idea to start a gym for disadvantaged kids, only he’s struggling with funds. “Follow me.” Terry says. He drives Tyrone out to a deserted area. Suddenly Tyrone is certain he has been set-up for an ambush. He panics and almost drives away. Only for Terry to convince him otherwise. In a disused warehouse Terry unearths a briefcase. In it is money. Terry hands it to him. “I’ve been saving it for a rainy day. Well, it’s raining.” The two look outside, it is raining. “Start your gym.” Tyrone frowns. “Let me get this straight. I put you in hospital and now and you give me money?” Terry jokes that he got lucky with the hospital/fight. In fact Terry kind of can’t believe this soft man was the psycho that almost killed him. Tyrone thanks him but he can’t accept ‘blood money’ to start something that is supposed to be positive. “Don’t give me that shit.” Terry says. “Without this money you won’t be able to open it. And because of that kids are losing out. This is my chance to give something back.” After a talk on morality, in which Terry frequently quotes his boy Friedrich, Tyrone agrees. “On one condition, you’re my business partner. They shake. Six months later the gym is open and it is a success. Terry goes out one afternoon for a quiet pint on his own. Only now he drinks in pubs off the circuit, low profile. He hits a student bar and sits in the corner reading the paper when a group of posh kids are there. He can overhear them making comments, getting leery. For the first time since hospital he feels his blood boil. The leader of the students is a skinny lad mop-head. More comments. He hears the word chav. From nowhere Terry explodes and the group are paralysed with fear. He grabs the leader and asks what his problem is…
Lee Broad 27. Talks fast and furious, saying that they weren’t talking about Terry, but casting for the new film he is making. Terry listens, then calms. Lee gets very animated about his project. He then has a brainstorm, and says that Terry would be perfect for the lead role. Terry dismisses. Lee pushes. “You’d be perfect, man of Nottingham. You could bring authentic knowledge and character to the film. Terry is embarrassed. Eventually Lee gives him a business card. “Sleep on it.” We find out about Lee. From Buckinghamshire, he studied at Nottingham University in politics, before eventually dropping out to pursue a life in the arts, much to the rancour of his parents. Lee first made an arts magazine called the anti-chav. Then he formed a band called Roots. Lee goes on a date with a girl, who is impressed with Lee’s rebellion. He tells the girl that he really feels the city flow through him, and the privilege of his middle-class Buckinghamshire was a past life. In his room there is a huge retro poster of himself saying, ‘Nottingham’s leading front man.” Wow. Girl is blown away. Then we see that the poster is a product of the art magazine, The Anti Chav. Lee has clearly made a poster in his tribute made by his own magazine. Lee now has written his own screenplay, Robin in The Hood. He too has designed a poster for that too, with the blurb: “This is England meets Pulp Fiction meets City of God…written, directed, produced and starring Lee Broad.” One afternoon Lee receives a phone call from a nervous Terry Moran, agreeing to meet. They meet. Only Terry is a little surprised as he was lead to believe that Lee was a main player in the film world. Instead of what he is met with, an amateur. Terry isn’t being paid. Yet Lee talks him over, “the money will come once the film is sold.” There is no real script, rather drama students in tacky clothes doing wild improv. Terry suddenly feels himself starting to make adjustments, giving guidance on realistic dialogue and behaviour. Soon he feels the project become his. Lee however, addicted to the idea of fame pushes on with his delusions of grandeur. The film is made. And he organises “the premiere” at the indie cinema in the bohemian part of town. The night is over the top. Limo’s, tux, interviews, speeches. His own magazine covering it. His band Roots play after the screening. His crew buy into the hype and feed him. However when Lee decides to take his film further he becomes a joke. In fact he does get some fame (notoriety) in that it is so bad it’s good. He wins an award for the ‘worst British film ever made.’ At the core of the embarrassment is Terry who nearly has a relapse into violence by destroying Lee. Lee is broke and down-and-out in the streets that he’s always fantasised about. Only the reality of the underworld is far from his middle class Buckinghamshire suburbia and not as glamorous as he thought. He has taken to drink. Lost. Broken. When one day a mystery girl finds him, Gemma. Again she works her soothing, silent magic. After his breakdown he is in a bar with an orange juice when he decides that his artistic medium is neither music or film, but literature. He starts to write down ideas but nothing comes. Then next to him a washed-up alcoholic. We recognise this (only just) as the first character we met, Gordon Joseph. “What you writing?” “A novel, only I can’t think of a story.” Gordon takes a swallow of booze, “I’ve got a story…”
THE REAL SHOW
“David Blaine meets Die Hard’’
Bruce Hennig is a heavyweight champion and legend in the Mixed Martial Arts world. He’s in England to fight and also to attend a charity event at a nightclub held by obnoxious rich kid Jon Wynn and his employee, Scarlett Spence, a kick ass, intelligent girl who feels a strong connection to the fighter much to Wynn’s annoyance. Meanwhile, the police, including maverick cop Gene Thaw are searching the area for criminal masterminds who have pulled off bank jobs around the country and left behind a trail of dead bodies.
Caught up in everything, Jimi and his friend Aaron are rebellious and intelligent American students only interested in films, music and hot girls. Along with Bruce Hennig and Kapau, the world’s most famous illusionist, they get embroiled in an explosive, action-packed finale at the crowded nightclub.
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Also in development: ROSES – A strange little story about a photographer hanging round the music scene and getting swallowed up by the lies and deceit of the people around him, his obsession for a local singer and his penchant for drink, drugs and women. To go into pre-production in 2015.