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.