Adrianna Hunt & Seth Jordan

I meet Seth Jordan and Adrianna Hunt, writers of the 2019 CUADC/Footlights Pantomime: Red Riding Hood in the foyer of the Ritz hotel in London on a drizzly autumn afternoon. They’re both late. Jordan rushes in from the cold, cheeks red, clutching a first edition copy of ‘On The Road’ and sipping a double espresso. “Good to see you!” he screams, louder than he seems in photographs. Hunt arrives shortly afterwards, dressed to the nines in a Juicy Couture tracksuit, wearing sunglasses, as always. Hunt nods brusquely to Jordan, who is by now slouched on a leather chaise-longue. This is one of the only acknowledgements they’ll make of each other throughout the interview. 

Intrigued by this clearly fraught dynamic, I ask how the experience of writing the pantomime has been for the pair. Hunt lurches forward, and exclaims, “Wonderful!”. She perspires a little. Jordan looks on, his slouch becoming almost horizontal. 

“It certainly was,” he agrees.

There is a silence. I ask the two how they came to write the pantomime this year. They both gesture for the other to answer, a process that takes nearly three minutes, before they say in harmony “We pitched it in May”.

“We wanted the panto to be a fun, family show, working within the traditions of the genre but doing some fun new stuff too,” Hunt muses. “It’s really quite revolutionary.”

Jordan perks up. “Have you heard of Brecht?”

We move on. I ask them about their summers and how the writing progressed. Hunt looks me in my blue eyes and says that writing, to her, and to Jordan, is much like the water that she so gracefully pours into her beige KeepCup.

“It’s a fluid process. Things change.”

“Indeed,” slurps Jordan. “If you looked back at the script in June, or July, or indeed August, or indeed September, you think it had been written by different people.”

“And it had,” says Hunt.

Then together - “Our past selves.”

I inquired about where they wrote, if they wrote together in person, or via the tradition ‘Google Doc’ system, which dates back to pantomimes of the early Tudor period.

Hunt scoffs. Jordan scoffs. Then in unison they reply, “Shaftesbury. Bristol. Berlin. Both East and West. We also used a Google doc regularly, thank you very kindly.”

“Berlin?” I ask.

“Yes, we wrote Act II there. We needed to get into a new space, and we found the Berghain to be a real creative diuretic.”

I baulk slightly but move on, but not before Jordan has a chance to show me an album of polaroids of every picture he’d taken in Berlin. They were entirely comprised of portraits of old women who he found ‘moving’ to capture. He weeps for half an hour and Hunt busies herself with a game of Solitaire in the meantime. “A metaphor,” she remarks.

I ask them eventually about their feelings now the pantomime is cast and beginning to take shape.

“It’s extraordinary,” quips Jordan. “I had no idea this would happen at the end of the writing. I’m shocked but I’m delighted.”

Hunt concurs, solemnly. She removes her sunglasses to shed a single tear then locks horns with me and says, “At least we get paid. In satisfaction. The only true currency.”

They are dead behind the eyes. I decide to end the interview. I leave, and Hunt and Jordan sit staring forward, mouthing silently the entire pantomime script in synchronicity.

WRITER’S NOTE: On a genuine note, we couldn’t think of many interesting things to say about the writing process so wrote that splurge you just read. In reality, it consisted mostly of us sat in rooms together periodically crying with laughter then staring blankly at our laptops. It’s been really fun and we’re so excited to see what it becomes in the hands of the wonderful cast and crew. If you do come, we hope you enjoy it!

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