by Alan Ayckbourn
Production dates: June 26, 27, 28 & 29 2019
Directed by John Garland
Synopsis : Brother and sister Martin and Hilda Massie live together, leading a quiet, Christian existence in the confines of the Bluebell Hill Development.
Just as they are preparing for a housewarming gathering, their peace is shattered by a young trespasser in their garden.
The Massies’ neighbours congregate in their living room and together they agree to form a neighbourhood watch group to safeguard against further incidents. But after the Massies’ beloved garden gnome Monty is thrown through their window, matters swiftly escalate, complicated by Martin’s burgeoning romance with Amy, wife of Gareth, who was formerly involved with Luther, husband of Magda…
What begins as a well-intentioned scheme for a safer community ends in violence and acrimony.
January 21st – Monday – Southwick Community Centre, Southwick Street. BN42 4TE
The event is open to all, and we hope many will join us for the sheer pleasure of the reading. But it is also a chance for anyone considering auditioning to hear the play and become familiar with the characters’ inter-play.
February 11th – Monday – Southwick Community Centre, Southwick Street. BN42 4TE
February 13th – Wednesday – Southwick Community Centre, Southwick Street. BN42 4TE
– or by arrangement if unavailable on these dates.
CHARACTERS – all ages approximate
Martin Massie – 40-50 : initially mild-mannered, Martin becomes corrupted by power and the prestige of his position as chair of the Neighbourhood Watch group, leading to great happiness but, eventually, a sad ending.
Hilda Massie – 45-55 : Martin’s sister. A good, Christian woman increasingly concerned at the change in her brother’s behaviour and trying to set him back on the path of righteousness.
Rod Trusser – 60-70 : ex-security guard, happy to resort to physical measures if necessary – and thus the trigger for the events that unfold.
Dorothy Doggett – 60-70 : widow. Worked for local paper and always interested in knowing (and spreading) gossip. Inevitably, she throws fuel onto the fire …
Gareth Janner – 40-50 : redundant engineer who discovers a gift for creating instruments of torture and restraint. Thinks his wife is having an affair …
Amy Janner – 30-40 : Gareth’s wife, who becomes the object of several of the neighbour’s desires…
Luther Bradley – 35-45 : not a very nice man, always looking for confrontation with the other neighbours. Jealous of Martin’s position in the group.
Magda Bradley – 25-35 : Luther’s wife. A music teacher, quite timid and seemingly in an abusive relationship.