SUITS AND PLATFORM BOOTS
Wheeller¹s glam rock tribute play affectionately
recalls the glittering 70s and one teenage boy¹s
ambition to be The Starman.
The fun, flamboyance and fashion
of the 70s are based on the writer¹s own youthful
admiration of glam groups.
The story is a tale of Shakey Threwer¹s
efforts to be a rock star and to woo local girl Lorraine
It is part autobiographical, part
fictional: Shakey Threwer recalls everything
his parents buying him his first Dansette record player
his first 45 (Banner
Man), first album (The
Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From
Mars) and his first gig (Roxy Music).
Set in Thornbury, Bristol, it makes
reference to Shapes record shop, where the writer
spent almost all of his teenage school dinner money
and initial earnings!
Sequinned Suits or a shorter
version (but with a longer name), The Rise and Fall
of Eed Sud and the Luminous Earwigs from Thornbury
is a tried and tested school examination piece
as well, and has proved to be successful in gaining
students exceptionally high marks in the last two
examinations series in the UK.
a play that examiners really appreciate; in each of
the two years it has been used, the candidates playing
the main parts have achieved maximum marks.
Other songs include Twentieth
Century Boy, Blockbuster, Tiger Feet, Little Willy,
Cum On Feel The Noize, Starman, Can The Can,
and Sugar Baby Love.
In the play, Yellow
River is actually used to accompany a segment
featuring a schoolboy prank, with the words rewritten
slightly to lend comic appeal while retaining the
flavour of the 70s period.
Mark Wheeller explains: "The
extract featuring Yellow River
is based on a true story that happened at my boarding
school, I imagine in 1970 or early 1971.
"We had someone who (disgustingly)
while we were out playing went round urinating in
people's wellington boots.
"It was the oddest thing to
have done. The miscreant was caught but I don't know
what happened to him ... probably had six strikes
of the cane knowing the school (ironically a Christian
"What I do remember is that
it happened at the time of the Yellow
River song, and so us boys adopted it, changing
the words accordingly: "Yellow Riv-er Yellow
Riv-er it's in my shoes and soaked my socks."
was one I was keen to include in the script which
told of my growing love for all things pop at the
age of 13.
River would have been one of the first pop
songs I had heard. Being at a Cathedral school and
being so involved in church music, pop music was an
avenue of pleasure that was pretty much closed off
"To have invaded this culture
was quite an achievement for Yellow
River ... the only other song I can remember
from that year was Back Home
by the England Football team... so Christie were in
To find out more about the play,
To buy the script, go here.