Hidden away in a pile of dusty floppy disks and broken CD cases was a short piece called Who is Dougie Fontayne? Originally written for a Channel 4 competition Dougie has hidden, rejected, beneath surplus padded envelopes for years. You might think him better left there, but there is something fascinating about failure and something to be learned from those who never give up. And dream.
WHO IS DOUGIE FONTAYNE?
SCENE ONE: INT BATHROOM, DOUGIE’S HOUSE:
FX: TOILET FLUSHES.
DOUGIE: Ladies and Gentlemen, and those who aren’t sure, you’re in for a treat, because tonight for one night only-
MUM: SING-SONG VOICE: Douglas, it’s on the table.
DOUGIE: HUMS THE START OF 2001 SPACE ODYSSEY – Dougie Fontayne has entered the building
FX: DOOR SLAMS, FEET RUNNING DOWN STAIRS, FX: TAKE ON ME BY A-HA IS PLAYING
DOUGIE: I said A-Ha
MUM: I’ve put you another sausage, and you can finish off that Action Man spaghetti. You need some lead in your pencil.
DOUGIE: I’m not planning to wrestle with them: Unless you’re counting their chuckle muscles.
FX: MOBILE PHONE RINGS:
DOUGIE: Yeah, we’re expecting a crowd. I couldn’t say how many.
MUM: You can count to two, can’t you?
DOUGIE: Later then, Kenneth.
MUM: He sees things, does Kenneth.
DOUGIE: Come on. It’s Ken we’re talking about here. He lives in a flat above the dry cleaners and got the sack for nicking patio furniture from the tip. As far as film scripts go, this isn’t The Sixth Sense. I can’t see Spielberg and Coppola getting into a bidding war for the rights to Ken’s life.
MUM: Only telling you what I hear, aren’t I. Just telling you what I hear.
DOUGIE: (SIGHS) What special powers does Ken possess?
MUM: Ken’s always been special
DOUGIE: You can say that again
MUM: He’s started shopping at Lidl. Angie on the checkout says Ken sees things in that funny Arabic writing on the tins.
DOUGIE: A vision of the Virgin Mary in the canned tomatoes, no doubt.
MUM: Ken predicted the floods in New Orleans. Saw it on the back of a pack of lasagne. And he’s convinced something major is going to happen in Stoke.
DOUGIE: Even Nostradamus and David Icke didn’t come up with something as incredible as that. COUGHS.
MUM: You’re getting a cold Douglas. You’re run down because the pressure’s getting to you.
DOUGIE: Pressure’s just a state of mind.
MUM: You’ve spent the last three months telling everyone you’re making your stage debut. Tonight’s the night, Douglas. It’s hitting home, isn’t it?
DOUGIE: Yeah, well cometh the hour, cometh Dougie Fontayne. When pressure bites I come into my own. You know that. You remember the time I sang Suspicious Minds – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. And the expectation that afternoon WHISTLES THROUGH TEETH.
MUM: It was your sixth birthday party and it was held in our living room. You’re making it sound like the Rolling Stones playing Wembley.