This is the first note from 10-6-2010. Forgive the handwriting, when I write quickly it becomes a scrawl. Deciphering it can sometimes be part of the fun.
I'll type it now, and add notes as I go explaining some of what I was thinking.
Gef, the talking mongoose.
The family, the farm, Isle of Mann, Voirrey Irvine (James + Margaret), Newspaper men, IoM locals, Harry Price.This is, if you like, the initial cast and set list. James and Margaret are Voirrey's parents. Harry Price is a renowned psychic investigator who wrote the book on the haunting (which I cannot find right this second).
The Talking Mongoose CaseThere was a court case where a paper was sued successfully for libel.
"Gef was the worst thing that ever happened to me"A quote from Voirrey's last interview in 2004ish (if I recall) followed from one of the Gef quotes at the time.
"I could kill you all. But I won't"
India, New Delhi. 1852.This was where Gef claimed to be from in his previous life. I went back and wrote the date in later.
1931, World Events/Weird eventsThese are avenues for further research, both general and specific. The strange creature was shot by the new owner of the Irvine farm and he claimed that it was Gef.
Strange creature shot in 1945.
Mongoose released on IoM.
[Nigel Kneale was IoM]??Nigel Kneale is the writer of Quatermass, 1984 and other television for the BBC. I had this with heavy question marks because I half-remembered that he was from the Isle of Man, but was not sure. I checked yesterday and found that he was born in England in 1922, but his family returned to the Isle of Man when he was 6. I need to compare the dates, and where they went to school, but I quite like the idea that a Voirrey and Kneale may have been contemporaries.
HPL stories for 1931Here I'm thinking of other strange tales from the same time period. Lovecraft is one of my favourites, and I'd be looking specifically at the imagery that he used.
[Rats in the Walls/Lurking Fear]
Do we see/hear Gef?One thing I haven't made up my mind about is whether Gef is actually real. I'm thinking that the way forward is to hit the ambiguity hard. That Voirrey considered him real is probably the most important thing to take.
Criptid.More research avenues. Like crop circles in the late 90s, and UFOs since the 50s, was there a spate of talkative wildlife around the time? It may have been in the ether. Also, it gives a bigger cloth to play with. Can Gef be located as part of a continuum of talking animals?
Other talking animals?
Reverse Chronology.Now this here was the first idea I had for how to structure the play. Having read the references and story on may different web-pages I was struck by how Voirrey referred to the events of 60-70 years previous. She believed with a certainty that Gef was real, and that he had a real effect on the events in her life, especially her failure to marry. The more I think about her conviction and her sadness, the more I wonder if this should be the starting point. Everything leading away from her final interview towards her meeting Gef for the first time.