Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Theseus and Ariadne

It is not often we have a verse play performed at Player-Playwrights. It hasn't happened since Treasurer Jethro Dykes has been there. Next Monday, January 5th,  he brings us Theseus and Ariadne.
 The play is not only written in iambic pentameter, it deals with ancient tragic themes from the classical world. We all know about Theseus and the minotaur. Less is known about what happened after the minotaur was slain. That is what we will find out..
 No less important is Ariadne, who graduates from being the love interest, to being the central character of the play. Her story is full of pathos, and also full of shocks.
 Please come and enjoy this journey into Greek Mythology...to be honest, as it's Greek, it ought to be in hexameters, not pentameters.....

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Christmas Party

Peter Thompson writes:

What a swell party it was! There were star turns in the first half: Phil gave us Marlowe’s last case, in which the great detective was brought low by a seductive Natasha Staples.  Many in the audience fell under her spell later on when she gave us a Monroesque I WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU.  Even those of us who like it hot were loosening our collars. Non-PC songs by Silas were also in the bill and a sketch about a school teacher (Anthea) turning the tables on a whingeing mum (Caroline) who had to hand over herCartier watch, pearls and Porsche because her precocious daughter was such a CHATTERBOX.  To close the first half Sophie “Thirty Dancing” Steel treated us to some delightful songs, with ukulele.
On came our President, Maurice Gran, to give us some seasonal thoughts and present this years awards, cups and trophies;
Best Play: Mary Conway’s JUDAS, with Mark Jagasia’s CLARION close behind and opening at the Arcola in April.
Best Comedy: Michael Barry’s BACK AGAIN (radio) with Napoleon Ryan’s DADDY’S GIRL in second place
Actor of the year: Silas Hawkins, just a few nominations more than Phil Philmar
Actress of the Year: Sevda Levent with Denise O’Leary the runner-up.
After that we braced ourselves for Tim Gambrell’s scratch pantomime of CINDERELLA in which Silas was everything like a dame, Phil did a whole gamut of Kenneth Williams voices and roles and Natasha and Sophie, as the Well Ugly Sisters did their best to upstage little Cinders with lines like “Party is totes amazeballs. Prince is well buff.  Gonna buss that girl up big time”.  Denise slapped her thighs loudly and often, the audience applauded hysterically and, after extensive socialising with the cast, we proceeded home in dribs and drabs and fairytale coaches to beat the stroke of midnight.



Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Christmas Party

Hasn't the year rushed by? Yes, it's the Player-Playwrights Christmas Party on Monday 8 December at 7.30, with the traditional formula: a sparkling cabaret including at least one West End performer, a specially written sketch emailed in from Hollywood and Songs about Love by the gorgeous Natasha Staples, then the Annual Awards for writing and acting, presented by Marks and Gran and finally a pantomime by Tiny Tim that is truly immersive [O Yes it is] and intellectually stimulating [O No it isn't].

Fun starts at 7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Banyan Tree


On Monday 1st December ( have you dug out your advent calendar yet? ) we have The Banyan Tree, the first playby actress Caroline Langston. It runs for 50 minutes, which should leave plenty of time afterwards for drinking and/or merriment.

"Ravi says that the Banyan Tree represents peace, unity and everlasting life.  But can it work its magic on a family in turmoil, where Jack is dying and Ellen and Marie are harbouring secrets?"

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Magna Carta

We here at Player-Playwrights like to get our celebrations in early. While the world and his wife will be remembering the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta next year, we've decided to kick things off next week.

Ahead of the zeitgeist, that's us. So on November 24th, that's the theme of the competition.

7.30 at the North London Tavern. Usual rules apply.

RESULTS UPDATE

Peter Thompson writes:

We decided to get in ahead of the surge of 2015 programmes on Magna Carta by making it the subject of our autumn play-writing competition on 24 November 2014.  We had ten little plays, two of which were set in 1215.   Of these Sian Williams entered and later withdrew PRINCESS JOAN WANTS TO COME HOME about King John’s sad domestic life after signing the dreaded MC.  We will never know what mark it would have scored.  The same goes for John Morrison’s much more modern KNIGHTS IN RUSTY ARMOUR in which the Coalition government decided to outdo UKIP with the Magna Carta (Reintroduction) Bill which received its First Reading in the rain on Runnymede Island, with the front bench clad in armour borrowed from the National Theatre costume department. So much laughter that it over-ran by a minute and a half and had to be disqualified.
We had another Parliamentary excursion, THE LAST MP by Peter Thompson, with a Bill to abolish the House of Commons.  Not so funny but within the rules, scoring 176 points to come fourth and provoke a gradely performance by Chris Prior as the Hon Member for Batley Pithead.  Philip Mison’s LAND OF THE FREE, set in 1215, came eighth (164 points) and was marked down because there were no female characters, although Katy Steel looked very good as a well-breeched young knight-at-arms. Peter Vincent’s A PAIR OF PINK SOCKS took us to St Mary Mead where Miss Marple solved the mystery of the stolen Magna Carta in under 10 minutes but still could not find a suitable recipient for the pink socks she was knitting: seventh with 165 and just below another Philip Marlowe mystery by Bill Gordon: DESK BOUND.  Magna Carta? Oh yes, that’s the title of the Private Detectives’ Code of Best Practice: 6th with 169.  Debbie Maya earned 172 points with a modern replay of the baronial confrontation, in which JOHN LACKLAND lost his land to his feisty French wife, Isabella, and lost his wife to Tony Diggle, who when not chauffeuring the couple around the M25 was engaged with Isabella in hiding the purple Bentley [What was all that about? Ed].
Into the home straight with heart-warming stories from our women playwrights.  Lynne O’Sullivan’s THAT’S HISTORY focused on a turning point in Anthea’s marriage to Christopher, a boring historian, on the day when they went to Runnymede for him to give a badly received talk about you-know-what to the local school, while she went on the river with the hotelier.  As so often in life it all turned out better than feared and put Lynne in third place with 177.  Above her, in second place was WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? about a  lengthy prenuptial contract [Maxima carta?] that Mickey and Minnie were being urged to sign by someone called Walt: yes, it was a Mickey Mouse contract!  Some way ahead of the rest was Mary Conway’s charming tale about Mr Patel’s pathetic trust in Magna Carta to back his fundamental right to lie down on the Clearway to force motorists to visit his once popular Mini-mart.  Mrs Mcready was his last customer, an endearing performance by Elizabeth Trueblood, who regularly crossed the Clearway at 4.15 for some milk, a sponge cake and a packet of suppositories.  Phil Philmar gave us a beautifully modulated Mr Patel and starred in almost every other play. Mention should also be made of two young actresses with us for the first time: Holly Jackson, as Krysztina the Hungarian cleaner, who warned the Prime Minister against letting those Romanians in; and Rebecca Kenny whose Allo Allo performance as Isabella was totally amazeballs and just right for a purple Bentley.
Natasha Staples, as Competition Casting Secretary, coped superbly with every kind of mishap, including missing scripts, revised scripts and cross-dressing actresses and came through to give us an inspiring evening of new writing and lots of laughter.  Many thanks to you all.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Street Walk

We have a short play on Monday 17 November: STREET WALK by new writer member Dom Broadley. It all takes place beside a canal under a bridge. The two vagrants, who are the main characters, each lay claim to the same pitch, but have to settle their differences when others appear on the scene, including police, yobs, suits, theatre-goers and transvestite hookers. Plenty of alarums and excursions.

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Judas

Monday 10th November brings us Judas, a Stage Play by Mary Conway.

"Imagine you could bring any historical figure to trial here in the UK

Who might you choose? What questions might you ask? What might you expect to learn?

Spencer Bainbridge is about to realise one such fantasy. He is the lawyer charged with the defence of one of the most notorious offenders of all time.

What is it like to be on the jury of such a trial? How will it affect the lives of the lawyer and his friends? How does the trial impact on the Pope and one of his closest cardinals? How will it impact on you?"

Come and find out:

Monday 10th November 7.30 The North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Working Stiffs

We have a change to the published programme on November 3rd. Instead of A Very Private Man by Helena Thompson, we have a piece which promises to be just as exciting by Cait Davies and Lynne Pinto entitled Working Stiffs.

"A group of lively, mature, financially challenged individuals from widely different backgrounds share a flat and face the challenges that life in the 21stcentury throws at them. The world has changed around them. Can they keep their minds supple as their bodies stiffen? Can they stay solvent and still live within the M25?"

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

AGM

It's that time of year again, folks. No script being read, alas, but the upside is that you don't have to pay to get in. Instead, you can come along at the usual time and listen and even contribute to the debate. Anything you want to get off your chest, now's the time.

7.30, at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Double Espresso & A Christmas Eve

Monday 29th October brings us a double bill from P-P veteran, Peter McKelvey. Let the great man explain:

DOUBLE ESPRESSO:

Alex is 'the man', a top guy but nemesis is at hand. A femme fatale lurks in the station cafe.

A CHRISTMAS EVE:

The last train has left. A disparate group of unfortunates and a mysterious stranger now inhabit Marylebone station. Edward and Rocca are down on their luck. They are despairing and cynical about Christmas but Christmas may yet work its miracle.

Sounds tantalising. Be at the North London Tavern at 7.30

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

WW1 Postcard Humour

Some of the more attentive members of P-P may have noticed that it is a hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War. As our part of the commemorations, we have invited one of our most prolific writers, Roger Mayhew, to come along to the North Tavern on Monday October 13th at 7.30 to explain his collection of WW1 Comic Postcards.

With the onset of the Centenary Commemoration of the start of the war Roger has been actively engaged in sharing his collection –partly in an Exhibition at the Cartoon Museum and also by delivering presentations about comic cards to various groups.

In the first part of this session Roger will deliver a short presentation showing the range of humour employed by the cartoon artists. In the second part he will divide the audience into groups; give each group a copy of a WW1 postcard (not used in the presentation ) and ask them to devise and deliver a short improvisation based on the card.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Injuries of Class

Monday October 6th brings us a play by new writer Paul McMahon.

"Two well educated but unemployed cousins [one m, one f] are dossing in a miserable squat in a criminal neighbourhood, desperate to return to the comforts of middle-class living. They put together their unique skills, one in criminology and the other in film making, to turn their squat into a pop-up brothel with hi-tech covert CCTV and blackmail potential. Nothing turns out as planned but at least it moves them on and out. A dark comedy with just a hint of redemption."

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Kaluki Girls

"On Monday September 29th, we move to our new home at The North London Tavern, 375 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, London NW6 7QB, and kick off with two episodes of a brand new Jewish sitcom entitled "The Kaluki Girls" by Debbie Nagioff.

"Bella and Zandra were arch rivals at school, through their youth, switching and swapping boyfriends, humiliating each other whenever possible, before finally going their separate ways. Thirty-five years down the line, one widowed, one divorced and four children later, they find their lives inextricably linked. But can they put the past behind them?"

Free bottles of wine and nibbles will be available to christen the new venue.

7.30, at the North London Tavern.

Friday, 19 September 2014

"When Were You Happiest? is set in the Freezone where friendship, love, sex, childhood…in fact absolutely everything, is monetised. All human relations take place through interactive advertising holograms, known as Ad-Vatars as there can be “no relations before the market”. To reach the cusp of the Freezone elite – The Unique - Diana Fray been forced to ruthlessly mould her naturally shy, contrary personality into a flamboyant celebrity sex symbol and business leader. But to finally become Unique she must destroy all traces of her former self – which forces the shy teenager to return an angry psychotic projection hell bent on destroying Diana and her world".

Daniel Davies last came to P-P with Is Anything Broken? is hit radio four play turned stage success. Now he's back with another question in the title, in the form of When Were You Happiest? which asks "how much power we should give technology that is fast becoming omnipotent, and uses dark satire to gaze into the future for all human capital".

 I do love a big theme. To whet your appetite still further, the stellar cast includes Cyd Casados, Lexy Howe, Simon Desborough and Jonathan Hansler.

Monday 22nd 7.30 at the Crown and Anchor.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Pawn Free

Monday 15th of September brings us Pawn Free, a comic drama by PP regular Eddie Coleman set in "the world of amateur chess about a bunch of losers striving to become winners.  Regular player and chess nut,Tony eats, breathes and dreams chess. It’s all he ever wants to think about. However, as circumstances conspire to deny him his daily chess
fix, he realizes he will have to up his game if he’s to save his club, his marriage and his sanity".


7.30 at the Crown and Anchor.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Westenders

Summer went fast, didn't it? Anyway we're back on Monday 8th September with a tv script by another new writer. Here's the gen:

"Julie, a na├»ve, young Australian girl starts work on a long running West End show. She finds the world of luvvies, lovers and the everyday struggles of life backstage, a far cry from the glamour beyond the curtain. 

"Set in the tumultuous world of theatre, in the heart of London’s world famous West End, writer Cathy Stewart brings the behind the scenes drama to the fore".

 7.30 at the Crown and Anchor.

Change of Scenery

Hello, hello we are back again. Player Playwrights have never been an organisation to let the grass grow under our feet. And So we leave the Three Stags for a three week stretch in Neal Street, at the Crown and Anchor.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Brief Encounter - the results

We had eight interesting entries for our BRIEF ENCOUNTER competition on 14 July 2014, our last night of term and, come to that, our last night at the Three Stags. The temptation to take David Lean’s classic film, with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, as the starting point was hard to resist. I loved Lynne O’Sullivan’s DOUBLE CROSSINGS. It was set in a railway tea-room where Laura sits every Thursday afternoon with grit in her eye, waiting for a man, any man, to come and remove it. It got the evening off to an excellent start and finished third with 219 points. The second entry was Brian Haddon’s IS IT LOVE? In which a man dates two girls online and finds he has invited them both to the same place on the same night. Not many laughs here and not many points either (137). But at least those entries complied with the rules, whereas Andrew Eu’s TRY THIS CORNETTO over-ran by two minutes and was disqualified. A pity because his was an original kind of encounter: a girl survivor of some apocalyptic event getting nostalgic about a Cornetto icecream with an old man whose survival store she is looting. Nice performances by Miranda Keeling and Chris Prior (of course). Two other entries which strove to get away from Waterloo Station scored 165 each. One was HI MUM by Giles Armstrong, which was about the world’s most vicious assassin, played for all it was worth by Carrie Cohen, being visited in prison by Fiona McKinnon, playing a quite astonishingly cruel daughter. The other was SERENDIPITY, by Debbie Maya and Peter Vincent. It involved an encounter over a barrister’s brief (geddit?), and his embarrassing discovery that his client’s well-supported alibi was spent in his own wife’s bed. Fiat justitia, ruat caelum, as the wise old judge might well have observed. It should be added that the scripts were entitled IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE, THREE STAGS DIVISION and were delightfully presented as briefs to counsel [Thompson QC, with you Giles Armstrong of Foyles] Back now to the Waterloo entries. In fourth place we had a riveting drama/ballet/mime by Chandana Banerjee in which the predatory Phil Philmar telephones Sophie Steel at midnight and promises her £200 if she will take a taxi to the railway station and have sex with him on the platform, as he has to leave in the morning. The lovely Sophie is so eager and so sinuous [remember her from the last comp as Adam’s serpentine first wife] that I felt quite sorry to see her dumped [172 points]. In second place was Bill Gordon’s QUEEN OF THE ELEPHANTS. Holmes and Watson [or as they are sometimes known, Phil and Silas] were on a well-clued trail of a kidnapping by the Russian Circus ringmaster [Chris Prior again]. But instead of the unmasking of a hideous oligarch we were treated to the triumphant entry, on the back of an elephant, of Mrs Hudson [aka Natasha Grigorovich] in some sort of leather costume! Phil and Silas were deeply moved. So was I. The competition winner was another entry about a retail outlet on a railway station. But the irresistible Suzie Kendall was not selling rock cakes. Oh No, she was tempting Phil Philmar with erotic lingerie and her yearning to travel to the East (Epsom was mentioned). When he explained “I’m married. My life is a desert of normality” we knew we were in for a roller-coaster of Noeline imagery and overstatement. And so it was. Michael Barry’s ENCOUNTERED BRIEFLY gained him 229 points and the winner’s certificate of merit. And our casting secretaries, Suzie Kendall and Natasha Staples won our admiration yet again for organising a faultless evening’s entertainment. Peter Thompson

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Brief Encounter

Is it the end of summer already? Well the nights are drawing in, and for P-P purposes that means it's competition time. The theme this term is Brief Encounter. Expect Sherlock Holmes sharing a romantic liaison with somebody... maybe even Dr. Watson. And more of the same.
The usual rules apply. Anonymity is king, so there's a chance for everyone. May the best Man/Woman/Other win.

7.30 at the Three Stags.

Then back on September 8th for the autumn term.

Friday, 4 July 2014

iLondon

Monday July 7th brings us iLondon, a new television sitcom by Angela Gregory.

"Jane Berwick and her unconventional team of staff run London lifestyle website iLondon, which isn’t actually based in the capital. Will their ambitious new boss Michael Morrow drag them out of the industrial estate and into the big city?" 

7.30 at the Three Stags.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Frame Story

In a change to the published programme, June 30th brings us Frame Story by Joanne Bhouri.

"East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet…

It is 2010. Carl du Bois, once wunderkind auteur of 80’s epics – Dogs of War; Speedy Driver; Alien–ated; etc – is down on his luck. Fired from the studio following a run of turkeys, he hits on the idea of making one last film – a remake of El Cid.

"In search of funding, he and reluctant wife Sandra head out to the tiny North African state of Dharia to gain the friendship, trust, and, most importantly, the money of dictator President Azid Ben Amed.

"Against a backdrop of the Arab Spring and with washed-­‐up, ex-­‐alcoholic onetime film star Brandan Kennedy and pregnant girlfriend McCayla in tow, Carl sets out on his quest to create a truly special movie and realize his dream…"

7.30 at the Three Stags.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Winnie & Son

Last September Carmen Harris brought us Babylicious which proved to be a tremendous success. Now she's back with a tv comedy entitled Winnie and Son, which concerns "Winnie, a vagrant pensioner" who forges an unlikely alliance with "Sonny, an alcoholic suidical" type, "in a London squat of motherless souls".

 I may be wrong but it sounds like black comedy to me. Come along to the Three Stags on Monday 23rd to find out. The usual time, 7.30.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Back For More



Monday 16th June brings us a radio comedy by new writer Michael Barry.

"Charles Fraser M.P. relishes every moment of his life, and finds he is perfectly  placed as a Government minister to find ways to feed his large appetites for sex, food, and money.

It's a job to die for...and then come back for more?"

7.30 at the Three Stags.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Chris Campbell Speaks & Ping Pong

Can it really be more than four years since Chris Campbell last came to give us a talk? Seems so. Last time, he was the Literary Manager for the Royal National Theatre, where, among other things, he said they read every script that was sent there way. Do they operate such a regime at the Royal Court, where Chris now works? Come along on Monday at 7.30 to find out.

Then, after you've hit him with your questions and loaded him with scripts, there will be a short play by Eddie Coleman.

"Tanya wants to improve her game while Simone just wants to watch EastEnders. Walter thinks he’s a champion while Mark fears he’ll never be one. Ping Pong – a comic tale of teenagers, tantrums and table tennis."

Thus far I'm with Tanya.

The Three Stags. June 9th.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Mr. Tarling

After a longer than usual break, P-P is back on June 2nd, with a stage play by one of our most distinguished writers, Peter McKelvey.

"Mr. Tarling is old and lives alone. He pines for his late wife and all that he has lost, but he does not surrender. Instead he makes his situation work. Without moving out of his home his life picks up, and becomes, disturbingly, truly alive again".

Sounds tantalising.

Monday, 7.30 at the Three Stags.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Back in June

Owing to a double booking the scheduled May 19th reading of Pawn Free by Eddie Coleman has had to be postponed. And the following Monday 26th is a bank holiday. But we shall be back on June 2nd.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Daddy's Girl and The Key


After the short break we resume on Monday May 12th with a double bill by a pair of P-P writer/actor veterans. First up is a piece by Napoleon Ryan. Napoleon left us to try and find fame and fortune in Hollywood a couple of years ago, but in between mixing with George Clooney and Ms Angelina Jolie, he's found time to scribe Daddy's Girl:

'Eric loves his new girlfriend.  Her father, Hank, has a way to make sure.  When Eric gets a tour of Hank's secret cellar, making a good first impression is the least of his worries.'  

The play is inspired by a  friend's anecdote about meeting their ex-girlfriend's father and his arsenal of weapons.

There is short break for discussion and the consumption of alcohol, followed by A Key Thing, by Lynne O'Sullivan. Lynne has been very busy of late, what with appearing in Tartuffe at the Tower Theatre Company. Says Lynne:

A Key Thing is a short romantic drama.  Danny, fresh out of prison arrives at the house of  his piano tutor, Jennifer, with whom he once had a brief affair. It’s as if no time has passed for Danny who has spent the last three years planning this reunion. But life seems to have moved on for Jennifer - or has it....?
7.30 at the Three Stags.

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Day Before You Came

Now, after what I hope was a refreshing break, P-P is back in business on Monday 28th April with a full-length stageplay by new writer Philip Hawthorne. What's it about? Who knows. But with a title like that, it's always good to dig out some classic youtube. Here's those Swedes singing one of their most morose tunes. If Monday is as gloomy as this then we're in for some fun.





 7.30 at the Three Stags.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Love Me Do

April 14th brings us the final script of the spring term, and it's a piece by none other than our presidents', Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran. It's Love Me Do, which I remember hearing a year and a half a go on radio four. Written to commemorate the fiftieth anniversaries of both the Beatles' debut single, and of the Cuban missile crisis, it's now become a stageplay. Here's a blurb, courtesty of Laurence Marks:

"Love Me Do tells the story of two Americans in London during the week leading up to what many of the population believed to be "the end of the world". It was thought that on Sunday, October 28, 1962, President Kennedy would bomb the Soviet nuclear missile sites on the island of Cuba, thus beginning World War III. Only this war would last little more than half an hour. This would be a nuclear war. Armaggedon.

Against the backdrop of the most serious situation known to man, the play looks at what is going on in the lives of Dorothy and Shack. She, on her first visit out of the USA; here in England for a friend's wedding; Shack is "something important" working out of the US Embassy. They meet at the country wedding and a love-hate relationship develops over the week before the "Big One" will be dropped and the world will be no more".



7.30, at the Three Stags.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Would You Adam and Eve It?

Yes, Competition night is here again, on Monday 7 April at the Three Stags, Kennington Road/Lambeth Road, starting at 7.30.
The rules require the submission of a 5 to 10 minute play, set in the Garden of Eden [Wot No Clothes!] and written in the style of a well-known playwright: Shakespeare? Strindberg [who he?], Bennett....
We have nine provocative entries and marking sheets for all.  So come along, watch and judge.

UPDATE: And here's Peter Thompson's report on the result:




This was an “In the Style of” Competition.  The given theme was the Fall of Man and expulsion from the Garden of Eden and we had nine compliant entries ie not too long (over 10 mins), not too short (under 5) and featuring a couple called Adam and Eve.

The first one up, by Peter Vincent, was such a brilliant take-off of Private lives that Noel must have been laughing in Paradise.  But we will return to that later.  Of the other eight we had four skits on Samuel Beckett! Julia Collier’s EASTWARDS OF EDEN, which was one of them, got the style well enough, but being slow and uneventful doesn’t win you high marks (150). Brian Haddon, on the other hand, gave us a play GENESIS in the style of Caryl Churchill about theologians of different religions trying to agree on God’s purpose in creating Man, until interrupted by a couple of Top Girls in the next room (163).  Debbie Maya gave us a Neil Simon playlet in which a decrepit Adam and Eve were invited into God’s garden to try some re-invigorating fruit (175). 

Bill Gordon disappointed some by not giving us a fresh take on Mrs Hudson’s relationship with Sherlock Holmes but went instead on an Oscar Wildean frolic, TEMPTATION, in which Phil Philmar coined all sorts of bon mots as the sibilant SIR PENT (182).  Chris Prior gave us WAITING FOR YAHWEH in which Beckett was lightened by some music-hall humour (184).  [I seem to recall Adam tracking some wild beasts and falling between two stools.  Boom, Boom!]  In third place two plays tied with 185 marks.  One was Adrian Chadburn’s Beckettian PAIN, featuring two of our great actors, Silas Hawkins and Belinda Blanchard, showing us how to do nothing in bed and make it interesting.  The other was a very clever Stoppardian play in two time zones, one with Adam and Eve etching hieroglyphs in a cave and the other a group of present day palaeontologists examining them and smugly denouncing them as fakes:  EVERYTHING IN THE GARDEN by Michael Barry.

So now we come to the fourth of the Beckett lookalikes, Giles Armstrong’s GOD ISN’T COMING.  Giles always pulls off surprises and he introduced us to Lilith who, according to some legends, was Adam’s first husband and a bit of a sexpot.  Naturally Eve was consumed with jealousy of Lilith for being the first woman although she, Eve, was the one who saw the shining on the fruit. Natasha Staples ranted about Lilith’s wickedness for about eight minutes and refused to eat jam with her husband and eventually admitted that she had disobeyed God’s command whereupon the earth opened up and swallowed her.  Most of Giles’s plays end that way.  The text was so unusual and so dazzlingly performed that we had to give it 190 marks and put it in second place.  But it was miles behind that brilliant play of Peter Vincent’s with which we opened proceedings: ADAMANT EVE.  According to Peter, Adam’s first wife was an irresistible lady serpent with four beautiful legs.  As played by sinuous six foot Sophie Steel little Jethro never stood a chance: 232 points and another lovely Certificate of Merit to hang with the others.

Thanks to all, not least to Natasha Staples who again effortlessly pulled this farrago of nonsense together into an intellectual feast and brilliant entertainment.  PT
 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

In the Cellar


March 31st. The last day of March brings us a play by Carolyn Eden.

"When Barbara has a miscarriage she wants answers.  Was it because of environmental issues including the fact that trains carrying nuclear waste sneak alone the village's railways lines in the dead of night. As Barbara examine such issues her idyllic life begins to collapse".

This is an epic piece with over twenty speaking roles which shall be performed by nine intrepid actors. So get here promptly.

7.30 at the Three Stags.