Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Man by the Lake & A Bed Made for Love

Spring in the air, there's magic everywhere, when you're young and in love. And there's plenty of magic and love at Player-Playwrights on April 4th, with a double bill by Maryse Addison. Maryse may be yet another writer making her debut with us, but by industry standards she's a grizzled veteran. A TV director and producer from way back, who has written about such varied subjects as polar bears and Nazis, she's now gracing us with a double bill of radio plays. Man by the Lake is a very atmospheric tale of spooky goings-on when a woman starts to have visions of a man... by a lake.

And a Bed Made for Love is a lighter, romanticish comedy about a couple on honeymoon. I'm afraid to warn you that there's even a dash of sex involved. But we like that, especially on radio. They clock in at thirty minutes and twenty minutes respectively, so there's plenty of time for the readings, the discussion, and then a cup of cocoa at home where we can all calm down at home watching Paxman on Newsnight.

Competition Closed

Just for the record, in case you are scribbling away, we already have ten entries for the Wedding Fever competition. So, keep it for next time. Or, if you've already finished it but not sent it in and don't think it can be rewritten for our inevitable Olympic Fever contest for the next summer, we may have it done out of competition early next term, if I'm feeling generous. But this has proved to be a popular theme - everybody loves a wedding, don't they?

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Some of the more educated among you may have heard of Macbeth, often referred to by theatrical folk as The Scottish Play. Well now we have what will no doubt go down in history as The African Play, as our very own Eamon McDonnell has taken Shakespeare's tragedy, cut out the boring bits, and moved the action to the Ancient African civilization that was the Benin Empire - "giving this famous tale an original and engaging twist". ( well that's what he thinks ) "This production delivers, both visually and culturally, a very exciting performance, fusing the original violent tale with a new setting and context - bringing the vibrancy of Africa to the stage".

It's playing at the Greenwich Playhouse and runs for almost four weeks. First night is Tuesday April 7th, and continues till May 1st.

Be there.

After After the Accident

For that matter we haven't seen much of Julian Armitstead lately, what with him writing international award-winning plays that get onto Radio four and all. Indeed, that isn't all. After the Accident is touring this spring, c/o REM Projects, and has even got some dosh from the Arts Council England. It's having a preview at the Oxford North Wall Friday and Saturday April 1-2, and thereafter at the Bristol Tobacco Factory for two weeks. London audiences will be able to catch up with it at the Soho Theatre Upstairs from June 6th-19th. And if you don't get to see it, you can always order a copy from Methuen.

The Sea Lovers

Gambo's back! We may not have seen too much of the great man lately, but to compensate we can always listen to him. Here he is, acting in another Rhubba Radio sketch. Left click to listen or right click to download.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Doorway & Word of Mouth

Monday March 28 brings us a double bill of debuts. First up is a short ten minute play by previous P-P Actress of the Year Nicola Hollinshead, entitled Doorway. It's a two-hander, and will also feature a pair of newbie thespians, Eileen Pollock and Max Warrick. After a brief and hopefully lively discussion, we'll then turn to the evening's main entertainment, Sandy Nicholson's Word of Mouth.

What's it about? Well, according to Sandy's rather impressive website, it's "A one hour drama following the work and personal lives of a group of people who work to put on a nightly radio comedy hour, exploring their relationships with each other, and with their profession. We follow the presenters, writers, producers and the tech team, as they try to work under pressure, keep their personal lives together, and deal with what comes from being only fractionally famous".

I haven't read it myself, but it came with a very favourable mentor's report, from someone who is often hard to please. So that's a commendation!

7.45, at the Phoenix Arts Club.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


One of our most prolific writers, Roger Mayhew, makes a welcome return with Memorabilia, a stage play about the aftermath of a death in the family. Roger tackled the same issue in The Mourning After a few years ago. Let's see how different this variation on a theme is. The play takes place over three time periods 1981, 1995 and 2011, and the cast contains Clive Greenwood, Lynne O’Sullivan, and both making their P-P debuts, Eleanor Lamb, and a man who joins that select few who have twice played Bond villains, David de Keyser. Let's hope he gets the opportunity to sit down and stroke a nice and cuddly white cat on his lap, while plotting world domination.

Come along on Monday 21st March at 7.45 to find out.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Houseparty of the Dead 6

People often come up to me and ask me: who exactly was that gorgeous, sexy creature who starred in that play of yours from last year, Siren? I tell them, Glenn Speers. They then say, no the other one, to which I respond: Paula Gilbert. Now for those who haven't seen her performing lately, here she is, acting her socks and much else off as a lesbian pursued by hungry zombies, in the short horror movie Houseparty of the Dead 6. Don't worry, you don't have to watch all the predecessors in this illustrious series, they're self-contained. She filmed this the week Siren ended. If you watch it closely, you can even see some of the same costumes.

Houseparty of the Dead 6 from eds209 on Vimeo.

Thursday, 10 March 2011


There are many works of art that have a letter as the title. For starters, there's the Booker-Prize winning novel G, by John Berger. In the sordid world of rock and roll the letter L has been used for albums by both the art school rockers Godley and Creme and the king of glissando Steve Hillage. ( If you like that sort of thing you should buy them, they're both terrific ). And in the field of motion pictures there is M by Fritz Lang, Z by Costa Gavras, and O, the Othello reworking starring Martin Sheen and Julia Stiles.

Will Giles Armstrong's D join this illustrious elite of artistic excellence? I don't see why not. I haven't read it, and have absolutely no idea what it's about. All I do know is it's a fifty minute stage piece, and that Giles has got to be just about our keenest critic. Have we ever had a piece without Giles raising his hand to comment afterwards? Now's the time for all our embittered writers with long memories to get their revenge.

What higher recommendation do you need?

Monday 14th of March, 7.45 at the Phoenix.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Sheep and Goats

Monday March 7th brings us a new play by a new writer, Michael O'Brien. Michael is currently working in Spain, but is making a special trip to oversee this reading. Because of the travel arrangements it's been trickier than usual getting this piece together, but I like to think it's worth it. It's a fifty minute satire on religious cults, has a big cast, and presents Silas Hawkins with a challenging lead role as Anton the man in search for meaning.

Come along at 7.45 and enjoy. Warning, it does contain copious amounts of swearing, but I like to think it's essential rather than gratuitous.