Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Whatever Happened to Rick Marks?

It's over four years since Whatever Happened to Rick Marks? last played at P-P. Long enough to deserve a second go. Then, it came it at under half an hour. Now, it's a full-blown hour. As writer Francis Beckett explains:

“In 1968, Marigold, Anne and Rick rioted in Grosvenor Square, occupied the university administrative building, smoked a lot of dope and had sex with each other. Forty years on, they find that the sexual tensions and jealousies are as painful as ever they were, the desire to change the world as urgent – but neither are as innocent as they used to be. Whatever Happened to Rick Marks? Is a comedy about the decline of the baby boomer generation.”

Francis knows a lot about the baby-boomers. I remember the last reading well, and recall thinking how many different directions it could go. Come along on Monday 29th April at 7.30 and we can all find out.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sight-reading Workshop & In The Cellar

There's a double bill of excellence at P-P on Monday 22nd of April, with an early, six thirty start for a workshop for actors explaining the ins and outs of sight-reading, run by Carrie Cohen. Then after a breather, we continue with a reading of a script by Carrie's nom de plume, Carolyn Eden. It's act one of In The Cellar.

As Carrie explains:

'The story follows Barbara Caswell’s quest for a reason as to why she miscarried.  Appalled at the cavalier attitude of organisations dealing with environmental pollutants and her husband’s insensitivity, she seeks refuge in the cellar of her new home with tragic consequences. The story is mostly set in the near future in a small English town where trains rattle through at night carrying nuclear waste and farmers spray their crops; all perfectly health-and-safety checked, a long way from Fukushima prefecture".

Monday, 8 April 2013


Brutal (working title) by Lexy Howe is a work in progress and based on a true story of abuse. The first act will be read on 15 April.


Just to confirm what is also now on the front page of the main website, P-P is running a competition entitled INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR?

The winner gets £250.


The final will be held on 15 July 2013, with the winner being judged by our members.

Scripts must be sent by email to ppcastingsecretaries@gmail.com by 3 June. There is no entry fee. A shortlist will be announced by 24 June. Shortlisted writers will be required to become members of the group.


1 Player-Playwrights invite entries for a Short Play Competition. The Finals will be held at 7.30 on 15 July 2013 at The Three Stags, 67/69 Kennington Road, London SE1 7PZ [nearest underground Lambeth North]

2 The theme of the competition is INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR? and the entries must be written for stage production.

3 There will be a first prize of £250 and £150 for the runner up.

4 Each entry must be given its own title and should have a running time of about 15 minutes: anything over 20 minutes or under 10 minutes will be disqualified. The play may be set in any place and any time and in any genre.

5 The entries should be submitted by email to ppcastingsecretaries@gmail.com and must be arrive by 10am on 3 June 2013. No entry fee is required.

6 A short list of up to six plays shall be selected by a Player-Playwrights subcommittee [from which competitors will be excluded!] by 10am on Monday 24 June and all competitors will be informed of the selection later that day.

7 The writers of the selected plays shall become members of Player-Playwrights, if not members already, and shall cast their plays from Player-Playwrights actor membership. Advice and assistance will be provided by the casting secretary at ppcastingsecretaries@gmail.com with a view to organising a rehearsal before the reading.

8 The finalists will be voted on by the P-P membership and prizes will be presented on the night.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Hallo Vera

The Summer term begins with "Hallo Vera", a sitcom by Debbie Nagioff. I dimly recall reading a draft of this a good two or three years ago when it was called "So Sue Me". It has now been through the PP Collaborative Group's remodelling methods and has been transformed "in every possible way", says Debbie. She continues:

"Behind every unmarried Jewish girl, there’s a Jewish mother pushing, pushing and still pushing her to change that status.

Divorcee, Ruth Gold, struggles with acres of anxiety, streams of stress and much low self-esteem. Her mother Lillian, a glamorous 50-something bombshell, is a constant reminder to her about what she lacks in sex appeal.

Set against the backdrop of a law firm, Ruth Gold’s life is one long stretch of disastrous dates, set up by her mother and well-intentioned friends, but things begin to change when she encounters the mysterious Vera, a “woman” with a past.

"Hallo Vera” is a pilot sitcom running approximately 30 mins. Come along to the Three Stags on Monday at 7.30.

Will You Marry Me? The Review

Here is Peter Thompson's report on our Spring Competition from 25 March 2013:

"Our writers were inspired by the title of our Spring competition and we had 10 entries to play off at the Three Stags on Monday 25 March 2013, with lots of new names among the authors and the cast. Madeline Temple’s neat little play FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE unfortunately over-ran due to the inclusion of a superfluous final scene and had to be disqualified. In ninth place, however, with 173 points, was John Coleman’s play about a missing mobile phone, called I’VE LOST IT: the high point was when Max Warrick got down on one knee to make a proposal of marriage with the ring-pull from his beer-can. Just above, with 190 points, was a serious play by Cyd Casados, THE TRENCH, about a WW1 infantryman struggling with a love letter home to a girl in Blighty, unaware of the stronger passion felt for him by his comrade in the dugout.

In seventh place was an extraordinary play about a young man out driving with a girl who has rhinocerine tusks. He runs into a roadblock where the girl is stripped and very nearly flogged to death but then continues her journey to the land of the free, by avoiding the turning for Devizes “where jugs are made”, the title of the play. OK, so I lost the plot, woven together, as you will have guessed, by Giles Armstrong.

Peter Vincent as usual gave us the best title of the evening THE DALMATION OF FAUST and it was good to see Christopher Prior back again, this time as Mephistopheles: proposals of marriage were much in evidence, but there was a complete absence of spotted dogs, putting this entry in sixth place with 206 points. Above that were two plays with challenging accents. SHIPS IN A HARBOUR, by Max Warrick had a French girl, deliciously played by Jenni Hall, agreeing to spent ze night with Dean Ekperigin but “nuzzing eez going to appen”. Well she was wrong about that, but Dean found the next day that he had had to trade in a promise of an early wedding. Zut alors and 208 points. And 8 points above, in fifth place, was a play by Debbie Maya featuring Denise O’Leary and Tim Gambrell as Australian actors raiding the Barry McKenzie phrasebook in their efforts to portray Elizabeth and Mr Darcy. The whole play was well summarised in the title PRIDE AND STRINE.

Bill Gordon’s Delphic title CONSORT WITH HUMOUR turned out to be another Holmes and Watson adventure, this time including the young Queen Vic, an irresistible performance by Hannah Mercer, who kept on fainting in order to receive the good doctor’s “standard treatment for shock” which fell short of an offer of marriage, but not by much: 225 points. First and second places went to newcomers. POPPING THE QUESTION by Rob Fearn and Cheryl Freedman scored 229 points for the sad tale of a shy but besotted old man, Richard Evans, who was schooled in how to propose to the girl in Starbucks only to have her rejection of him recorded on camera and sent round the Internet. But the clear winner was Michael Barry’s THE PERFECT SETTING in which Hannah Mercer found implausible reasons for rejecting marriage offers in all the most romantic locations in the world. Her recurring change of mood was a treat to watch, although many men in the audience were wondering whether she really was worth rescuing from that volcano. Way out in front with 282 and Barry wasn’t even there to give it 10!

There are still 2 more Marry Me plays to be performed on 17 June, because Natasha Staples had already received the maximum complement before they arrived. The organisation of 10 back-to-back plays in a single evening is no mean feat and Natasha did it with no apparent effort at all. What a girl. Many thanks to her and to all who took part in a most entertaining evening."