Friday, 19 July 2013

Inappropriate Behaviour - The Results

Peter Thompson writes:

"What fun! We finally brought our globally advertised Short Play competition to a conclusion on Monday 15 July 2013, with six authors in search of acclaim, filtered out from a field of 36. The results were as follows:

POLES APART was an absurdist play by Michael Ayers, which came sixth. It was set in a restaurant, in which Chris Prior tried to engage an ice-cold Michelle Frost, at the next table, in conversation about Polish ancestry. Her frigidity survived a room temperature of 82 degrees, in old money, until eventually she walked out on the arm of the waiter, Max Warrick, who had been goose-stepping round like Basil Fawlty. Hmm.

RECYCLING by Cyd Casados and Melissa J Woodside was fifth. It starred Rebecca Sidwell who was preparing for divorce, by passing on a few old things to her best friend, Suzie Kendall, including her twitchy old husband, Kevin Mandry. But the hidden agenda was to wreak revenge on the two of them for their past infidelity. The Bright Young People laughed and clapped. The old and dim are still working on it.

I DO LIKE YOUR TIE was a neat little police interview drama by Kelvin Fawdrey. The suspect, a feisty performance by Cyd Casados, was making a fool of PC Dave, Rob Maloney, while Inspector Kate, Denise O’Leary, tried to see that the right things went on to the tape. Lots of laughs at the beginning, as the suspect flirted with the PC, but gradually we realised what she had been up to: she was taking her revenge for her husband’s giving her HIV, by passing it on to a series of married men, because they deserved it. Fourth place.

MASTERSON AND SONS INTERDEPARTMENTAL CHRISTMAS PARTY was a broad comedy by Chloe Austin. Fiona McKinnon, was up before the department manager Phil Philmar for inappropriate behaviour. Nothing to do with the way she used a baby-wipe to remove hypo-allergenic night-time eye gel from the crotch of a customer’s trousers; everything to do with a “brutal and debilitating attack on a co-worker” at the Christmas Party [exciting flashback]. Fortunately the manager was persuaded to let her off with a warning and two nights’ overtime stock-taking if only she would do that little thing for him… And then Giles Armstrong walked in and caught her administering a back waxing. He had come to present her with the Oatmeal facewash multi-pack Christmas Bonus award. A happy ending. Third place.

FOOD ON THE FLOOR was a chilling piece by Neil Rhodes (from Wales) about child abuse. At the start we hear horrible sounds of violence off stage and then silence. The mother, Nadia Nadif, waits for it to be over and Andrew Ward comes in to report that the little girl is sleeping and not to be disturbed. During the next ten minutes we gradually learn that Yes, he may have hit her and she probably has a bruise, but she’ll be all right in the morning whilst mother says she is sure it was an accident and she’ll take the blame herself but she must call a doctor. Back and forth with outbursts of violence and all kinds of inappropriate pressure: the courts, the social services, the neighbours. This disturbing play won the author the runner-up prize of £150.

THREE WOMEN was a very funny piece about three Glaswegian women making ends meet by shop-lifting. Fatima Uygun’s highly original take on inappropriate behaviour was put over with gusto and courageous accents by Carrie Cohen, Anthea Courtenay and Elizabeth Trueblood. A worthy winner of £250, which went some way towards covering the drinks in the bar afterwards and the train back to Scotland.

Laurence Marks presented the prizes for the two best plays and, to loud applause, the additional prizes to the most nominated actor, Andrew Ward and actress, Fiona McKinnon; and he threw out a general invitation to come and see the latest [and final?] series of BIRDS OF A FEATHER being recorded at South Bank studios.

This was a very slickly presented evening’s entertainment that was hugely enjoyed. It was orchestrated by a small group of senior members [Chair, Secretary, Eamon McDonnell, Peter Vincent and Carrie Cohen] and those fantastically energetic and effective Casting Secretaries: Suzie Kendall and Natasha Staples. Well done all.

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