Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Guilty secret

November 11 is competition night. the theme this term is Guilty Secret. Ten short scripts, all read anonymously, by some of the finest acting talent in London, followed by the all-important vote.

Who wins? You decide.

Monday at the Three Stags. 7.30.


And this is how it panned out, as told by Peter Thompson:

"For the first time this century there were no disqualifications and 10 well-crafted entries completed the course. SALVATION, by Philip Mison, wrapped up a guilty secret in a Country and Western song that was being broadcast on a radio station in the Deep South. All very authentic, particularly the Southern commentary by Cyd Casados and the Willie Nelsonian ballad, but perhaps not sufficiently sophisticated for us Lunnon folk: 10th with 159 points. Just above was Angela Higson’s mysterious play THE WOUND in which junior staff pieced together the domestic secrets that were causing their boss, Silas Hawkins, so much pain: 163 points.
Giles Armstrong treated us to a tale of adultery and colonial uprisings in a beleaguered Indian fort, where Rez Kabir, the faithful(?) native servant, kept serving chota-pegs to Memsahib Courtenay and burnishing her ancient flintlock: 8th with 166.  New member, Katherine Woodrow, wrote CAR CRASH in which Caroline Langston pulled into a lay-by, glugged half a bottle of whisky and confessed to her son Jethro the terrible truth about murdering his father years before.  [Ajay and I gave her a lift home afterwards]  Seventh place with 173 points.  In sixth place, with 178 points was Michael Barry’s  NO GUILT AT ALL, which did what it said on the tin.  The more Carrie Cohen used hypnosis to expose his hidden history of immorality and crime the less guilty her patient, Chukwudi Onwere, felt.  That brought us to Debbie Maya’s MAYFAIR, which has always been a winning investment on the Monopoly board, unless you cheat, of course, as John Morrison always did as a 7 year old when playing his sister, Hannah Mercer.  Fast forward to the 70 year old John and he is still at it.  Only this time Hannah catches him out and he drops dead.  Ha! Fifth with 180 points.  Fourth was another entry by Michael Barry.  It was awarded 197 points and concerned THE FAMOUS FIVE, who made a great living in advertising and in showbiz as quintuplets.  Their guilty secret was that they each had a different father.
Peter Vincent’s entry took us to Bronte-land.  There is much musing below stairs about Mr Rochester’s Byronic philanderings all over West Yorkshire and how he gets away with it.  Governess Jane [Hannah again] decides to go and have it out with Mrs Rochester and THE TERRIBLE SECRET OF ED ROCHESTER is revealed:  there is no Mrs Rochester: she has been invented to fend off talk of matrimony! Third with 202 points.  ONE MAN’S MEAT was a lovely two-hander by Mary Conway, beautifully performed by Natasha Staples and Phil Philmar: two allotment-owning vegans torture each other with talk of steak and even MacDonalds: second place with 223 points.  Top of the class, with 225 points was, of course, Bill Gordon (who else) with UNDERWEAR IN THE HIGHLANDS: Paul Temple and Steve are lost in the Highlands in driving rain looking for McGuffin Grange, or some such.  As night falls they are lured into a mysterious motel by a Psychotic Scot [Silas again] who knows how to hum theCoronation Scot.  Fortunately Chris Prior is on hand to save the day and the patent for Harris Tweed underwear.  Another disaster averted.
Thank you, Natasha, for distributing these engaging scripts to such talented actors and managing a production of 10 little plays, back to back, without a hitch.  Great entertainment.

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