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.

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