On 16 Jan 2001, Cleo Kearns (already signed up to play David De Slime) emailed me about her 11 year old son Chris:
"What about writing him into the play, even if only in a very very bit part, as Jodi??? You will shudder, Simon, (do you remember the song 'Don't put your daughter on the stage, Mrs. Worthington'?) -- shudder because you are imagining most utterly spoiled and impossible American children."
She wrote more, of course. There was no part for Jodi or Henry (both of them would have needed scenes with Nicholas, and we had no Nicholas, and I'd pretty well decided by this time that there wasn't going to be one). But a child would provide more of the necessary variety, and our audience was likely to consist of a large number of mothers! So I wrote a part for Chris. When writing this section, I confidently expected that Dorothy Dunnett would explain the Nicholas/Sophie relationship, and I strongly expected that revenge for his mother would prove to me a motive for many of the things he did. Well, you can't win 'em all! But, just in case, I put the whole thing as part of Anna's evidence. She's obviously an unreliable witness!
And as for the 'Hello Clouds, Hello Sky', I direct the reader to the 'Molesworth' books, by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle. In these books is a character named Fotherington Tomas who I am sure is a good boy who loves his mother. The main character reference though is 'Ceddie': Little Lord Fauntleroy who calls his mother 'dearest'. I would like have to have had Chris wear a velvet suit with lots of lace trimmings, but hey, we're living in the real world here - and what kid would do that unless large amounts of money were involved? I didn't even ask.
The name Niccie is a 'Ceddie'-like variation on Nicholas which Dorothy Dunnett had unaccountably failed to use in her books.
Updated 06 Jan 2002
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