Private Project

Town House Muse

When emotionally repressed, aspiring-novelist Anais discovers her sexy neighbour, Hugh Mann, is an extra-terrestrial, she helps transform his dull observational data into a riveting page turner, earning her a six-figure book deal and him a ticket home. But on realising her true feelings, she must stop him before he leaves forever.

  • Lorna Riley
  • Project Type:
    Student, Short Script
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Falmouth University
  • Lit Laughs International Film Festival
    July 31, 2021
    Semi-finalist for Short Comedy Screenplay
Writer Biography - Lorna Riley

Based in Manchester, Lorna Riley is an award-winning writer and screenwriter who has “a real knack for creating likeable, funny characters” according to the Lit Laughs International Comedy Film Festival. She loves writing sci-fi romcoms with madcap plots that are still very much grounded in reality. Recently, one of her short film scripts has been produced as a podcast by

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Writer Statement

Town House Muse—Chewing Gum meets the Strange Planet cartoons—is a scifi romantic comedy about an aspiring novelist who finds her muse on a terraced street.

Heavily influenced by Michaela Coel’s series, the comedic tone is also reminiscent of the TV series Catastrophe and Love due to the equally kooky romantic leads. Town House Muse, however, adds an extra-terrestrial twist to the emotionally dysfunctional dynamic.

In a similar way to the timeless-classic series Mork and Mindy, Town House Muse derives humour from imagined cultural differences between alien visitors and humans. It provides the perfect foil to poke fun at some of the absurdities of human existence and western social norms, but in a modern setting with up-to-date sexual politics that allows the female lead to fully exercise her comedic muscles.

The heroine, Anais, is an emotionally repressed, aspiring novelist, and Hugh Mann is an undercover alien tasked with observing mankind to help his superiors understand human behaviour. Neither expects to find love in the world around them. Instead, Anais satisfies her romantic cravings through books, and Hugh longs to return home to find connection there.

These world views serve as the initial obstacles to love for our hero and heroine, but as Town House Muse is a classic romcom, they encounter plenty more problems along the way. Hugh, for example, keeps wiping Anais’ memory every time she discovers his identity, making writing a novel very difficult. However, when they join forces, Anais helps transform Hugh's dry observational data into a riveting page turner, earning her a six-figure book deal and Hugh a ticket home.

Despite the burgeoning chemistry between the two as they overcome their differences, Anais thinks she has everything she wants. It isn’t until her publisher points out the obvious sexual tension between the protagonists in her book, however, that Anais realises her true feelings for Hugh.

As Anais races to him—fearing he may have left for his home planet already—the overall comedic tone of Town House Muse intertwines with a dramatic one. Finally, after Hugh and Anais have overcome numerous barriers to their love, the audience receives the essential romcom ending when the lovers are united at last.

With the popularity of speculative comedy series such as The Good Place, Ghosts and Upload, there couldn’t be a better time to capitalise on audience appetites for escapism. Town House Muse offers the perfect combination of fun and romance to satisfy their cravings.