Thursday, 31 December 2015


Here is a message from Eva Willis, our new casting secretary:
*PP ACTOR MEMBERS CASTING DAY*: (A FREE casting workshop for P-P Members only.)
Will be held on January 29th 2016. 11AM -5PM. Each appt. will take approx 5-10 minutes.

Player-Playwrights actor members will perform a monologue or scene of their choice for Jimmy Jewell- talent agent for JWL London and West End Theatre Producer on shows such as Memphis the MusicalThe Mentalists and Hand to God. Jimmy has also wrote and produced NHS the Musical and Who Ate All the Pies. This casting day is an opportunity to perform for Jimmy Jewell and P-P Casting Secretary Eva-Jane Willis to begin the year as you mean to go on (acting!) and to introduce yourself to a respected Industry professional. This will also help us to cast you in our weekly play-readings! 

If you are performing a scene you may bring a partner with you (PP or non PP member is fine).

Please email the below email address (do NOT phone please) with a link to your SPOTLIGHT or castingcallpro CV and AVAILABILITY that day. If you have a time preference please give an indication in your email. 
You will then be allocated a time-slot.  

The casting day will be at the offices of JWL LONDON:


Nearest tube Goodge Street.

We would like you to select scenes/ monologues from a play that you feel fit your casting. Modern is preferable but Shakespeare will be accepted. Please note this is not race specific.

We encourage you to spread the word and invite fellow actors to consider joining P-P and coming along to the casting day.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


That was a very enjoyable Party, an excellent Cabaret, an over-the-top pantomime and of course the Awards.
Congratulations to the winners:
1 The Muriel Cobb Cup for the play of the year was won by our Presidents with TIME AND LOVE
Runner up: Juliana Lisk’s TOY STOREY
2 The John Grange’s Cup for Comedy was won by John Hill, with HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL and he was also runner up with CHASING BECKETT
3 The Actor of the year award went to Phil Philmar, with Johnny Hansler as Runner-up
4 The Actress of the Year award went to Sophie Steel, with Helen Oakleigh as runner up.

Then there were two unscheduled awards of highly drinkable wine (a) to our outgoing chair: John Morrison and (b) to our outgoing Programme Secretary Peter Thompson (that’s me).  Both of us said what great pleasure we had derived from the activities of Player-Playwrights and that we would continue to attend and give our support to Ninaz Khodaiji and Mary Conway, who were elected to the chair at the AGM.

Thank you  very much and a Merry Christmas to you all.

Peter Thompson

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Christmas Party

So this is Christmas. And what have you done? Well, what P-P has done is organise a party, on Monday evening 7 December.  It is the usual, nay, traditional fair, with songs and sketches, the Annual Awards presented by our Living Legend Presidents Marks and Gran and a pun-filled pantomime exclusively written by the Bard of Exeter, Tim Gambrell.
Food will be provided, and we will therefore be collecting £5 a head at the door, instead of the usual £2.50.

7.30 at the North London Tavern. Let's hope it's a good one.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


In all my years I can't recall one person getting two plays into the same programme but that illustrious record is about to be made by Kevin Mandry. Hot on the heals of Buskers comes Eros:

London, 1995, and the Internet is starting to rewire the human brain, as The Image becomes all-powerful.

"We fed the heart on fantasy
The heart's grown brutal on the fare..."

It's about internet porn, apparently. An issue close to all our hearts.

Kevin submitted a picture of a camera. I preferred one that was somewhat both more tasteful and apposite. Not that there's anything pornographic about Ms. Brook, of course.

7.30, Monday 30th November, at the North London Tavern. Remember to wear a dirty mac.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Monday 23rd November brings us this term's competition, on the theme of Brexit. Hey, who says we don't do topical? Usual rules apply.

7.30 at the North London Tavern.


Peter Thompson writes:

In the winning play Pete Picton, as the Prime Minister, was very pleased to see BREXIT on the Cabinet agenda.  Having only had muesli first thing he was strongly in favour of bacon sarnies all round.  He was not the only one to have difficulties with the title of our autumn competition.  But five skilled craftsmen [Wot no Wimmin] produced clever and, in one case, very erudite, works of drama on the BREXIT theme.  They did well.

Nick Rose was the least successful with SALVATION, but it scored a healthy 123 points and had an exciting start, as the tanks moved into position on the Cliffs of Dover and the Prime Minister of the day, played by Denise O’Leary, exhorted the sappers to blow up half the Tunnel, but to leave the other half as an emergency exit.  As I closed my eyes, as required by the new Spiritual Leader, I could hear the distant timbre of Mrs T.  But peace and astral harmony won the day, disappointingly.

Next up was Michael’s Barry’s ARE WE ALL IN?  This was an entertaining family squabble about whether to leave the Book Club seeing that some new members had deplorable literary tastes and others only came for the refreshments.  Faced with an even split within the family the casting vote was given to Martin the goldfish.  But by the time he was ready to move (clockwise for In, anticlockwise for Out) he had forgotten the question.  Ultimately it was decided to have the issue determined by the upcoming referendum on EU membership, which some us had by then spotted raised very similar issues and tensions.

BE ALL MY SINS REMEMBERED was a philosophic gem by Peter Vincent, whose learned play summoned to the heavenly throne of justice three notorious characters: Brian Rathbone, Beryl Reid and that logic-chopping unbeliever, Bertrand Russell.  Judge Giles had no difficulty in opening the pearly gates to the two thespians, but the third BR only just escaped an exit to another place, pursued by bear or possibly Beelzebub.  John Bunyan and Ludwig Wittgenstein came into the story too, as you would expect, and earned the author 149 points.

In second place with 158 points was Peter Skyte’s play about the PM’s attempt to re-negotiate terms of membership with some heavily accented Europeans, played with ferocity by Anthea Merkel, Silas Hollande and Francis Juncker.  Despite riling them with his “I’m All Right, Jacque”, attitude the PM finally won them round with his arguments for limiting membership and weighting the voting in favour of larger countries.  Then at last the euro dropped.  They were re-writing the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, beautifully clued in by the title NUL POINTS!

Finally the winner with 176 points, IN, OUT, SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT by Phil Philmar, with Peter Picton as PM.  His policy is to leave Europe and, in addition, to move the country somewhere warmer, but without bumping into France: “I’m not an idiot. Obviously I’ll let someone qualified steer”.  But he reckons without Scotland, who won’t take the brakes off!  Wonderful.  Please write us another episode, Phil.

A great evening, masterminded by Natasha, Peter, Christa and Chukwudi.  Many thanks to them all and to the clever writers and wonderful performers.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

We Need to Talk About Clive & Whitaker's Lunch

Monday 16th November brings us a double bill of stage plays. First is a one act drama by the prolific John Hill called We Need to Talk About Clive:

"Talking in the cinema is not to be encouraged, except when Anthea Courtenay and Elizabeth Trueblood are the only ones there and they are watching a porn film and musing about Kevin's activities. In this production you will not  see the film (sorry), But the conversation is hilarious."
After the break we then have the welcome return of Francis Beckett. It's been a busy year for Francis, so it's good to have him writing stage plays again. In case you'd forgotten what the great man looks like, here he is, posing, perhaps as Whitaker himself. As Francis explains:

"Whitaker, public relations consultant, has invited a new client to lunch. Now all he has to worry about is what he’s going to do when the bill arrives".

Sounds appetising. Be at the North London Tavern, at 7.30.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


John Morrison writes:

"This is to remind you that we have our annual general meeting coming up on 9 November at 7.30 pm at the North London Tavern, and this year it will be more important than usual.

We have been offered the chance of moving back to central London from January 2016 after more than a year of meeting weekly in Kilburn.  The Phoenix gastropub near Victoria has an upstairs room which is available on Monday nights.  As you know, finding a central London venue at an affordable price has been an uphill task.  Many members have been reluctant to make the journey to our current venue, and a return to a more central location would give us a chance of restore our Monday night attendance to its previous healthy levels.  The Phoenix is at 14 Palace Road SW1E 5JA, next door to the St James Theatre.  The AGM will allow members to express their views on a possible change of venue, though a final decision will have to be taken by the new committee.

The other vital agenda item will be electing a new committee and replacing officers who are standing down, including myself as chair.  Most importantly, Peter Thompson is standing down as programme secretary after many years organising our weekly readings, though he is prepared to continue as secretary.  The programme secretary's current workload can be reduced if the task of reading and mentoring scripts is shared with two or three others.  Our long-standing treasurer Tony Diggle is also standing down.  We also need a new competitions secretary and two new casting secretaries, preferably actors who can share the task of assembling casts for our readings, and we need help to improve our website.

If these key posts cannot be filled, either from the existing committee or our wider membership of actors and writers, then our weekly programme cannot continue in its present form.  P-P has a long history going back to 1948 and it now needs a fresh team to take over.  So if you think you can contribute, please contact Peter Thompson, preferably before 2 November when the existing committee will meet to look at our options before the AGM.

I would like to appeal to all current (and lapsed) members to make a big effort to attend the AGM if they possibly can".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Talk by Indhu Rubasingham

P-P chairman John Morrison writes:

"Our guest on Monday 2 November is a rising star in London theatre, Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle theatre in Kilburn since 2012. She took over from Nicolas Kent who had run the theatre for 28 years, specialising in verbatim plays.  Indhu's bold international choices in new writing reflect her long career as a freelance director in a wide variety of theatres, beginning at Nottingham Playhouse and taking in Chichester, Birmingham and Hampstead. Her current production at the Tricycle is The Wolf In Snakeskin Shoes, a loose adaptation of Moliere's Tartuffe by American playwright Marcus Gardley.  The Tricycle has one production running in the West End -- The Father by Florian Zeller at Wyndham's -- and another on the way at the Garrick in January as part of the Kenneth Branagh season.  This will be a revival of her first show at the Tricycle, Red Velvet, starring Adrian Lester as the pioneering black American actor Ira Aldridge.
She's also directed The Motherfucker With The Hat at the National Theatre.  You can read an interview with Indhu from The Independent here".

After the break we have CANCER RESEARCH, a short Halloweeny play by Our Man in Hollywood: Napoleon Ryan.

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Blind Date

Monday 26th brings us the first full length play by P-P debutant Colette Cullen. She is an experienced director, producer and writer of short pieces. Indeed, a shortened version made the short list for our recent DANGER competition. This is the expanded version. As Colette explains:

"Two couples.  Two dates.  One gay.  One straight.  Each recount a radically different version of their blind date.  Sophie and Karl are persuaded to go on a blind date by mutual friends.  Mark and Alan meet through  facebook friends.  What have they to lose?  A compelling and intense drama about looking for love".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Conflict of Interest & Into the Trench via the Breach

October 19th brings us an enticing double bill. First, a welcome return for Mr. Player-Playwrights himself, Peter Thompson, who brings all his legal knowledge to bear in a forty minute radio play entitled Conflict of Interest. As he explains:

"Two young lawyer-wannabees (1m, 1f) decide to set up a Free Legal Advice Centre in St Barnabas church, for the benefit of the local community.  They have good intentions but no qualifications worth talking about and their public-spirited venture soon takes them way out of their depth.  Will they make it back to dry land?  Vicar Mary sincerely hopes so because she has £250K riding on  the outcome."
Then, after tea and biscuits, or a dry sherry and profiteroles ( according to taste) and a short discussion we have the second half of the double bill, perennial competition winner Debbie Maya returns with Into the Trench via the Breach:

"A school trip to a portrait gallery is not everybody's idea of heaven, least of all Josh. However, he has an unforgettable experience that will change his life forever".
7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Monster in Human Shape

Monday October 12th brings us a screenplay by P-P's time-keeper extraordinaire Giles Armstrong. let the great man explain:

Sylvia Connors is a businesswoman on top of her game. Just a short time ago she thought she'd lost eveything - but now, with the help of her faithful PA, Madge, she's back on course and rapidly becoming a player on the world stage.

"But gradually she comes to realise that Madge - pretty, super efficient, totally devoted to her - is a fiend in human shape. Kidnapping, blackmail, torture, burglary, data thrft on a vast scale, probably quite soon murder - these are only some of her crimes  - how can Sylvia be rid of this creature before Madge drags her into the abyss?
"She can't. On the day Madge plonks a severed head into her lap, Sylvia realised they are joined at the hip and that in fact she will achieve much more with this monster at her side.
"One day, perhaps,  the reckoning - but not yet".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Monday October 5th is a welcome return for Kevin Mandry. Last summer he produced his critically acclaimed Flowers of the Field at the White Bear. Now, he brings his long awaited follow-up to the North London Tavern. Says Kevin:

"It's a Saturday night in Hangar Lane sometime in the 90's. You're broke, sex-starved and hungry, and your only party clothes are your burger bar uniform. Out there somewhere is Life and Excitement: the challenge is finding it before the electricity runs out and the Existential Angst devours you.. You're going to have to Busk it..."

7.30 Monday, at the usual place.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Who's Good at Maths?

Monday 28th September brings us a new, 60 minute stage play by the great Peter Vincent. I have no idea what it's about, but whatever it is, it's bound to be good.

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Danny and Me

Monday 21st brings us the P-P debut stageplay from David Conway. Here is the blurb:

"This is a story about the triumph of love in the midst of hatred and killing.  The play opens in a pub in Kilburn with the arrival of Mick O'Hanrahan and his Canadian girlfriend.  His plan is to manage the boxing career of his brother Danny, who has a big local following.  All looks good until Danny misbehaves and Mick's Northern Ireland past catches up with him."

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

News from Devon

Former actor of the year and writer of the annual pantomime Tim Gambrell has left London for the seagulls and chip shops of dear old Exeter, so I don't suppose we'll be seeing too much of him in the immediate future, alas. But his legacy lives on: Paul &  Nessa's Happy Hour on Spark Sunderland have been using some of his comedy sketches in their shows.

This week was the last of their Tuesday daytime shows, and they're coming back in two weeks with a higher profile Wednesday evening slot instead. They're continuing to use Tim's material, which is nice, and one of the recurring characters will be a revamped version on an old Enid Thrush idea, so she gets to come to life at last as a Teeside Lass!
The station only broadcasts locally around Sunderland, but is available to stream live online at and if that's not convenient the shows are also available to listen to at your convenience via the Cranked Anvil website

Enid Thrush! She must have had at least three outings at P-P back in the day. must be worth a listen now, I'd say.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Time and Love

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran need no introduction. Unless you don't know who they are of course. On Sunday 13th September they have arranged a Player-Playwrights Promotion at the Leicester Square Theatre at 4pm on Sunday 13 September: tickets £20, proceeds to charity.  The event is entitled Living Legends, and for once, that isn't an exaggeration. As Peter Thompson reminds us:

"Maybe half a dozen of us remember them in their early days at P-P winning our internal competitions every term with 5 minute plays like The Early Bath Merchant and the one about the guy who rings the AA because his car won't start and gets through to Alcoholics Anonymous.  They made us laugh then and eventually they made someone at the Beeb laugh and now they are a Living Legend.  But they have not forgotten their humble origins [us, I mean] so I hope some of us can spare the time, and £20, to show that we remember them too".

Then, the very next day, Monday 13th, we have quite a coup, in the form of an exclusive reading at of their newest drama, for a tv series entitled Time and Love.

As Peter T once again summarises:

"The scene is Edinburgh, where feisty young Nicola has moved from London to take a job in the prestigious Exordium Trust [think KPMG].  She has an under-furnished flat and a good singing voice.  We see her getting a warm reception singing Time and Love (Barbara Streisand) at the local pub where we meet her friends Neil and Craig who are poor but honest strivers in the pub entertainment business.  They both fancy her as do many of her co-employees at Exordium Trust.  Sexism runs through this male dominated organisation but Nicola has risen already to being a research analyst and is determined to pass exams and go higher.  The top man, Chester, is not as crass as his senior executive team and he sees something in Nicola he really likes.  Will he get it?  Will she?  Fortunately there is one woman in the senior structure, Juno, who chums up with Nicola over a game of squash.  We hope that she is going to be a genuine ally but you never know: the female of the species.....The story settles down into office manoeuvres which lead Nicola into an opera date with Chester and a working weekend at his rural retreat.  The vast security gates clang behind them as his Bentley glides up the drive.  Can Craig and Neil rescue her in their beat-up old van?  What do you think?  Nicola survives, thank goodness, and Ha Ha, smooth old Chester gets the chop.  Was this engineered by Juno? perhaps we will find out in the next episode".
7.30 at the North London Tavern.

and I haven't even mentioned Desert Island Discs...

Well Done, Giles!

P-P's time-keeper and score-keeper Giles Armstrong has chalked up his own record, fifty years working at Foyles.

I remember, many years ago when I has just joined P-P, once phoning Foyles, not knowing he worked there, trying to get hold of a book for my wife. The girl who picked up the phone could not answer my request so called out to someone at the other end of the room for help. Then came a booming reply. It was Giles' voice, quite unmistakeable, authoratitive and assertive. He, of course, knew the answer without even having to look it up.

Hats of to Giles, and here's to the next fifty.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Up Against the Wall, Toy Storey, The Human Letters

Summer's gone but Player-Playwrights is back, and we start the autumn season on 7 September kind of where we left of, with a miscellany of very short plays, with contrasting themes. I say 'where we left off" because the first two almost got a reading in our last night, back in early July, in the Danger competition. Georgina Varley who came sixth with Up Against the Wall, makes her P-P debut with a strong piece in which "Jenny and Timmy are two people whose lives are linked by the loss of their child.  But that is not the only reason she is detained in a mental hospital as Timmy finds out on his final visit."

The play that came seventh, Toy Storey, by Juliana Lisk, then gets an outing: "Mayhem at Crhistmas on the toy and games floor".

Then, to round things up, we get The Human Letters, which wasn't entered in the competition (perahps it wasn't dangerous enough) by our chairman John Morrison, recounting how "a couple of suffragettes behaved with great ingenuity".  If you'd like to know more, read this.
7.30 at the North London tavern.

Thursday, 2 July 2015


Monday July 13th brings us the end of the summer term and we are going out with a bang, in the form of the Competition with the theme of Danger. We had over 250 entries from all across the world, and they came in all shapes and sizes: knowns, unknowns, published writers, people I'd actually heard of, and even one Emmy-award winning Hollywood writer, all in the hunt for the £300 cash prize to the winner, not to mention the fame and fortune that will no doubt transpire. Four of our most august members and I were the panellists, and each script was read by at least two of us. We managed to come up with a short list of 19, from which we picked the five best. These are, in alphabetical order:

Disturbed by Ian Cowell

Fallout by Jonathan Skinner

Ifs and Buts by Corrina O'Beirne

Log-In Error by Adam Hughes

Struck by Isley Lynn

I genuinely have no idea which will win. In any case, it is out of our hands. A combination of audience, actors and script will have some influence I would imagine. I wish I could be there, but unfortunately I shall be in Crete.Anyway, good luck to all, and may the best script win!

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

July 6th

Regrettably Indhu Rubasingham can't give us a talk on 6th July after all.  But as one door closes another opens and we shall be using Monday 6th July for:

1 Casting and auditioning for the five shortlisted plays for our Danger Competition which will be performed and judged on the following Monday (13th July)

2 If time allows, the script in hand performance of a late entry for the Women Behaving Badly competition.
I don't think we've ever done public auditions before. Should be a bit like Britain's Got Talent.

Be there. at 7. Should be an interesting evening.

Let Me Explain

Many years ago I read a book of theology called Let Me Explain. Well if it's good enough for Teillhard de Chardin it is good enough for Peter Mckelvey. Let him explain:

"LET ME EXPLAIN....Let me explain...Let me explain.....The play is an affection re-visiting of an old genre.  Many years ago, J.B.Priestly lamented the passing of the 'story' in the theatre. But he added, 'the story will return.'    It hasn't yet.   At least not in the West End, or in any of the more pretentious venues.   But it has here, affectionately and I hope amusingly and exclusively for P.P. What's it about?   It's about to be read next Monday.  Do come along".  

Do. 7.30 at the North London Tavern>

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Danger Competition Shortlist

We had nearly 250 entries from across the world. These are the final five that will be read at the final on July 13th:



Ifs and Buts

Log-in Error


Congratulations to them and commiserations to everyone else. Thanks for joining in and please come along.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Just Words

Monday June 21 brings us a cracking new play by Richard Woulfe. I can say this with some authority because I have actually read it.

"Why did Ben Jonson and Robert Cecil meet so often?  Jonson, the satirical playwright, and Cecil, the King’s Secretary of State?

1606 saw first performances of Volpone, Jonson’s great comedy. But he still did not achieve financial independence.  He continued to write masques at court, often commissioned by Cecil.  In an age when writers needed a patron, Jonson was fighting for a greater degree of artistic autonomy".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

I'm Dead, Get Me Out Of Here

June 15th brings us a radio play by Janice Day and Martyn Eggington:

"Dave, an unfulfilled jobbing musician, doesn't like being dead.  Heaven is just awful, with its rules and regulations and noise abatement policy.  He befriends ex-careworker Caitlin ("ex" on account of the fact that she too is dead), and engages her in trying to commit a crime so heinous that they will be immediately relegated to Hell, which sounds a damned sight  better than Heaven.

However, it's quite difficult to commit a crime in Heaven: Health and Safety is rife. There's also no property to steal and murder is a non-starter so......."

7.30 at the North London Tavern

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Women Behaving Badly - the review

What a night it was; it really was, such a night!  Every seat taken for the script in hand performance of 10 mini-plays on the theme WOMEN BEHAVING BADLY.  The authors were perverse as ever. Instead of bawdy exchanges between binge-drinkers we had mostly needle-sharp bitching, greed and bigotry. Entertaining though. There were two early fallers, LIFE’S IMPENDING CHANGE by Judy Acton and LEOPARD’S SPOTS by Dimitry Devriani.  In each case we were treated to what appeared to be Act 2 of a longer work and we found ourselves wondering what had happened in the missing Act 1. In each case the reading over-ran the 10 minute limit by a considerable margin.

Of the rest MENAGE A TROIS by Alex Barr scored 116: it concerned two women fighting over the husband of one [to be played on stage by a realistic store dummy unaware of the wife’s bit on the side]. THE SWEETEST VICTORY by Ags Irwin, about murdering the Prime Minister with chocolate cake, scored 122 and CREED by Matilda Lovelace scored 123.  Her plot hinged on the choice of paint for a designer kitchen.  They were each witty plays by new members who had to learn the hard way that scripts do not fare well on an unrehearsed reading, script in hand, if they depend on props and set design.  Next time they will be in the top three.

In the upper half we had LOOKING AFTER MA DIXON (141 points), an unpleasant tale by Giles Armstrong about a hanging carried out in Arizona by a couple of horrible women.  The script was almost redeemed by fantastic cowboy accents from Phil Mison as the poker-playing hangman and Lynne O’Sullivan who was happy to stand in for him, so he could finish the game in the saloon bar (where else). In fourth place was Peter Vincent’s KISMET with 143 Points in which a newly dead woman (Lynne again) had her wish to return to earth for 3 minutes granted by Tony Diggle who couldn’t be bothered with her soul but had fun with her body.  In another part of the Tony Blair coffee lounge the newly dead Carrie Cohen awaited a visit by a young man whom she had invited to fix her hamster’s wheel, which was stuck. Oh yes?  The location of these bizarre events remained unclear but got some good laughs. In third place, with 159 points was Lynne O’Sullivan’s SHORT BREAK, a Dolce Vita play in which Silas missed his hot date with Sevda in apartment MADRAS by knocking on the door of apartment MUMBAI and disturbing Anthea and Phil Philmar in a terminal embrace.  Their Italian accents were so strong they almost needed sub-titles.

There was an interesting surprise in second place.  Peter Skyte, whose novice’s entry in an earlier competition fared miserably, threw together a very broad comedy in a butcher’s shop involving female customers who spoke in Malapropisms (Elizabeth Trueblood was particularly convincing) and the vicar’s daughter with Tourettes syndrome (Sevda again) and a benign John Morrison who acted as interpreter and purveyor of unmentionable parts of an elephant. Peter scored 164 points without giving his play a title.  Finally, in first place, was MULLERED by Debbie Maya (166 points) which gave us what we had been waiting for: a drunken chat show host, Denise O’Leary, slagging off her guests, Sevda, whom she accused of having legs in different postcodes, and Lynne, to the despair of Phil Philmar and his production team who occupied half the stage and much of the action.  A worthy winner.

Peter Thompson   10 June 2015
PS FINAL WARNING!!! Any future competitor whose emailed script is not exactly the same as the hard copy handed out on the day will be disqualified!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Women Behaving Badly

We have our termly competition on Monday at 7.30 and the theme WOMEN BEHAVING BADLY has attracted a lot of interest and indeed entries. Five non-members joined in, including one in San Francisco, such is the efficacy of our publicity, and two of those subsequently applied for membership in order to be able to take part.  So we now have 10 compliant entries for Monday night and an 11th waiting in the wings. They are all cast up and ready to go. Come along and give your verdict!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Chasing Beckett

"Summer is finally here on Monday June 1st and to usher in the warmer climes we have Chasing Beckett by John Hill.

"Chasing Beckett is a black comedy about Alex, who forces her way into Hugh’s flat with one aim - revenge. But as the day unfolds, she realizes vengeance has cost her something far more important. Hugh begins to see that, far from being his nemesis, Alex may actually be his saviour".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

She's Watching You

May 18th brings us a new play by Helen Oakleigh.

"Human rights. Surveillance. "She's Watching You" is about the impact on a family with a young baby and the impact laws have on their everyday lives".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Oedipus in Jail

It's been a while since the award-winning playwright Julian Armitstead graced us with his presence. But on May 11th he's back, with a piece he has written with Michael Crowley, called Oedipus in Jail.

"Four male prisoners compelled to undergo a victim awareness course, collaborate on a comic re-enactment of a pantomime, to evade the stories they'd rather not tell.  Only to find themselves captive to a larger story:

a tale of shame and savage self-delusion, from which each must find his own way out".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Witch in the Woods & Stand Up for Yourself

Monday 27th April brings us a double bill of one act stage plays by P-P newcomer Lexi Wolfe. First up is The Witch in the Woods:

700 A.D.  Somewhere in the British Isles is a solitary wise woman, Maya, forced from her local village where she and her family were once celebrated sages and healers.  Now, she is alone and friendless, outcast by the steady progression and growing popularity the new and foreign Christianity.  With wolves prowling near her door and no peace to be found in her new role, Maya’s growing rage at the unfair betrayal of her folk rises to boiling point one cold, winter’s night…

Then comes Stand Up for Yourself:

 Over-enthusiastic Lila meets the retiring Lucas in the corner of a party one night.  But there is a little more to each of them than the other perceives at first glances.  With Lucas's claws long-fashioned and Lila's just as quick to be drawn, both need to stand up for themselves, if possible...

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Nothing To Fear

It's been five years since I had something read at P-P. Now I'm back. I didn't retire, I just had a bit of a lie-down. It's a forty-five minute radio play called Nothing To Fear.

"Why does a naked woman rush out of her house and beg a complete stranger come into her bathroom? What does her husband think about it?"

Come along on April 20th to the North London Tavern at 7.30 and all will be revealed.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Hit Chicks

Player-Playwrights resume on 13 April after the Easter break with a play by new writer Chukwudi Onwere. Here's the synopsis:
"Two fun-loving black sisters, Letesha and Alesha, are hired to kill. But on their first day on the job, it all goes horribly wrong. Hidden truths are unravelled, and the sisters lives are now in jeopardy. Who will survive?

An urban dark comedy-thriller on love, sibling rivalry, gangland culture and survival in a London criminal underworld".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A Missed Opportunity

Monday 30th March is the last night of the current term and, as is tradition, we end with a competition. The theme is A Missed Opportunity and the usual rules apply.

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Boy From Porbandar

Monday 23rd March brings us the long-awaited return of Jan Harris, with a play about Gandhi. Unsurprisingly, she hasn't  called it "Gandhi". Indeed, it dwells on some of the less examined aspects of the man's life. As she explains:

"Mohandas Gandhi spent his formative years 1888 to 1901 in London studying to be a barrister. 

The London Vegetarian Society played a large part in changing his life, as did some of the major Reformers of that time. 

London was Gandhi's Rite of Passage".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Will Passengers Please...

Monday 16th March brings us another play from the Collaborative Group. Let Mary Conway explain all:

"We are in a London station – not one of the posh ones with shopping arcades, pianos and platforms for Hogwarts, but one of the lesser, more intimate ones.

Here we can take a sideways look at the passengers as they hurry by and claim a share in their unexpected lives. Here we can see how brief lives intertwine; how one touches another; how life flares up and takes on riches.

Can a suicidal woman be saved by a boy and a rat? Will the woman, who waits for the son she has never seen, find happiness? Can a man, who depends for his sanity on a plastic bag, find love? And what does this all mean for Kenny, the long suffering manager, for whom this day could be momentous?The twists and turns of our shared histories are endless. Look at us: heads down, making for the exit! Where on earth are we going in such a hurry? Or are we maybe there already? Will passengers please... But list! Of course they will!"

Writers and creatives: Mary Conway, Peter Vincent, Debbie Maya, Peter McKelvey, Phil Philmar, Victoria Johnston, Chandana Banerjee 

7.30 at the North London Tavern. 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

All The Things They Never Tell You In Drama School

Monday 9th March brings us our third talk of the year, with P-P legend Daniel Dresner. These days Daniel isn't just an actor, he's a life coach. We haven't seen much of the great man lately at P-P in terms of his acting and spectacularly-detailed post-show critiques, so Monday gives us a good chance to catch up. And, you might learn something. Here's the gen:

"Having actively worked in the entertainment industry for 20 years and coached within it, I have encountered some common questions which need answering. The answers to these questions have provided fulfilment, contentment and very often a career.

Player-Playwrights is close to my heart, as are the people who attend, so consequently I will endeavour to combine my knowledge and experience with your knowledge and experience tohelp you move further down your personal road towards where you really want to be.

We may touch upon the saboteurs and gremlins which stand in your way. We may talk about promoting yourself, networking, marketing and sales – and how awful this all sounds! We may discuss where you see yourself in the future, how you will get there and by when. We may ask questions such aswhat does success mean to me? Will I ever be famous? How can I earn a living doing what I love? In fact, do I love it at all or am I just addicted or even deluded? Does it matter if I'm crap?

Clearly this will be an interactive evening and will benefit those of you who are interested in progress. But it may also be fun and inspiring and invigorating".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

How Does That Make You Feel?

Monday March 2nd brings us a one act play by John Hill entitled How Does That Make You Feel?

"Trevor, a doting husband and deeply religious double-glazing salesman, attends marriage counselling unaware his wife Kirsty is having an affair with Sebastian, their counsellor. Sebastian wants to break the bad news but discovers his love for Kirsty is not quite as strong as his survival instinct".

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Chauffeur

Leopold Lojka was the driver of the car carrying Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in their visit to Sarajevo in 1914. History claims that when driving away from Sarajevo on 28 June he took a wrong turning and stopped the car right in front of the assassin who then shot and killed the royal couple. That assassination started the domino effect which led – only 6 weeks later- to the First World War and 16 million deaths.

However there is more to this story than that simple account.  Having researched the events that both led up to the assassinations and to Lojka’s death in 1926 Roger Mayhew has written an encounter between Lojka and a mysterious stranger based on the known history of the time.

The running time for the play is 45+ minutes. Roger’s plan is to pair it with another short play which he is currently writing and which features a second character from WW1

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Sightreading Tips & Sweet Charity

Monday February 16 brings us a double bill. Carrie Cohen improves our sight-reading and Eddie Coleman entertains with a new tv series for children and teenagers.

First off is Carrie Cohen's Mini-masterclass in sight-reading and public speaking which will start at 7.30. Actors and others who wish to be tested and trained should come up at 7.

Then after a break for a quiet glass of sherry and some witty banter we return with Sweet Charity. No, not Eddie Coleman's reworking of the Neil Simon musical but the pilot episode of tv show.

"Charity Miller is a 13-year-old enterpreneur with a great business brain and a determination to succeed in everything she does. She's got some fantastic ideas and is about to embark on a new business venture that might just make or break her".

Come along to the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Paines Plough & Tinseltown

For Monday 9th February we have a double bill. First up will be a talk by Hanna Streeter from the prestigious new writing theatre company Paines Plough about... Paines Plough. Then, after questions and an interval there will be a half hour sitcom by Angela Streeter entitled Tinseltown:

"Ellie Greenwood is the CEO of North Yorkshire Film and TV Commission, an enterprise created by Tinchester Council when under the control of the Lib Dems.  She dreams of turning the neighbourhood into the Tinseltown of the North, but has problems with under-funding, d-list celebrities and hostile local residents.  Can she overcome them all?  Maybe not this week, but she will keep on trying."

Be there at 7.30 at the North London Tavern. You might learn something,

Friday, 30 January 2015

Crusoe's Other Island

Peter McKelvey, one of our most distinguished writers, is back with a new play:

"Our NHS is in a parlous way, terrorists and extremists are on the rampage, social inequality gets worse, the cost of housing, the price of this and that, a dank, gloomy winter. Had enough of it all? You can escape. Return to 1954 to an abandoned RAF camp in Egypt for a couple of hours.  Join John Crusoe on his 'other island'.

Monday, Feb 2nd, 7.30, at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Dolly Moxon's Welcome Cafe

Monday January 26th brings us a new play by Joanne Richards entitled Dolly Moxon's Welcome Cafe.

"You get out and think it’s gonna be like the films: a chauffeur turning up in a jag and all the local villains paying their respects. Instead you’re spewed out of this ugly building wi’ a few quid in your pocket”.

When Tommy returns from a stint in the “big house” he finds his world turned upside down – his best mate is getting married, his bird has taken up with the local council housing officer and his mother’s cafĂ© has been closed down by a gang of criminal bikers …

There is a stellar cast, as well:: Daniel Copeland, Jonathan Hansler, Pete Picton, Elizabeth Trueblood, and Max Warwick.

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

After the Dance

Monday 19th January brings us a stage play by Andy Moseley.

"Fran and Finn met in 1952, seven years after the end of the Second World War. He had just completed his national service, she was living with her overly protective father. They spent one glorious summer together then never saw each other again. Sixty years later they are getting married. But what caused them to split up, and why did their love survived all the years apart?"

7.30 at the North London Tavern.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Competition Play-off

On Monday, 12 January, we have the annual play-off to establish the Competition winner of the year, whose name will be engraved on the Guy McKay shield.  There are six entries from the three 2014 competitions: "Would You Adam n Eve it?", "Brief Encounter" and "Magna Carta". The warning against acting with animals has not been heeded:  look out for the four-legged serpent who was Adam's first wife, the two mice arguing over a pre-nup and the entrance of the Queen of the Elephants, astride a magnificent pachyderm.  And so much more....

Come and enjoy the entertainment at the North London Tavern, from 7.30, and vote.