Hilda by Nick Padmore | Script Revolution




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A buttoned-up academic suffering from writer’s block decides to bring his eccentric aunt home when she starts showing signs of dementia. A (mostly) true story.

A heartwarming road-trip comedy, with a healthy dose of UK/US culture clash.

The main characters are:

Hilda (70s) - an eccentric ex-knitting champion
Christopher (40s) - an emotionally stunted academic
Abi (40s) - Christopher's domineering sister
Moira (30s) - a no-nonsense literary agent
Elena (60s) - a trailer-park mystic
Wayne (20s) - a cemetery owner and friend of Hilda's
Professor Jankowska (40s) - a rockstar prof with a drinking problem


Christopher Wade is at a crossroads. He’s a highly respected British professor who’s dedicated his life to the study of place names. Which, as it turns out, has left very little time to study what it means to be a functioning member of society.

He’s an outsider. A grumpy, neat-freak perfectionist who, to the annoyance of his world-weary agent, refuses to turn in the years-late draft of his new book until he’s cracked the derivation of every major place name in Britain. ‘London’ is the missing piece of the puzzle.

So there couldn’t be a worse time for Christopher’s long-lost, Boston-based Aunt Hilda to start showing signs of dementia. Nor for Christopher’s domineering sister Abi to demand he fly out to bring her home.

And it’s not just bad timing because of the book. Christopher hasn’t spoken to Hilda since they fell out over a long-running pun contest when awry.

After a good deal of arm-twisting, and the realization that he can kill two birds with one stone and tag on a place name conference in Chicago, he boards a plane and heads for America.

Hilda’s a ray of sunshine in Christopher’s pit of darkness. Her laid-back ways grate on him, and his first instinct is to get her home as quickly as possible. But he quickly realizes that something strange is going on.

Her house is full of useless inventions bought from a shifty door-to-door salesman. There’s a letter confirming her purchase of six plots at the local cemetery. And she’s on an extortionate retainer with a local trailer-park mystic.

Christopher can’t just leave things alone, and decides to give a piece of his mind to the shameless snake oil peddlers who’ve been taking advantage of Hilda’s mental decline.

But in meeting them, he realizes they’re not shameless at all. They’re her friends. And when Hilda insists on joining him on his road trip to the conference, they’re forced to confront their falling-out from years before.

Christopher can’t help but soften, and realizes that the only thing stopping him finishing his book are his own demons.

The words come flowing out of him again. And with her soul finally settled, Hilda can go to her gigantic six-plot mausoleum having tied up the final loose end in her life.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Here are some nice things people have said:

‘The script has a strong concept, and the story would have a wide appeal. The characterisation is unique, which is what elevates the concept and makes it feel original and memorable.’

Evaluation from The Script Lab


‘Charming. The characters are well drawn… Hilda is a great character. Today, there are a number of fantastic older actresses who would love to play such a well-shaped character.’

Evaluation from The Black List


*This script also got a ‘Consider’ rating from The Script Lab – putting it in the top 5% of scripts they evaluate.

Submitted: May 2, 2020
Last Updated: June 27, 2020

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Nick Padmore's picture

The Writer: Nick Padmore

By day I'm creative director in a London branding agency, writing video scripts and ads for big businesses. By night (and on the weekend) I write screenplays. Features, mostly, but also TV pilots, shorts and a couple of monologues. I'm obsessive about realistic, bouncy dialogue. I'll go to extreme lengths to avoid exposition. And I've got one hell of a soft spot for a twist. **Page International Screenwriting Awards Quarterfinalist 2020** **Scriptapalooza Semifinalist 2020** Go to bio

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