Our previous posts announced the first two plays of our 2018-2019 season, The Odd Couple (female version) and Double Top (click the links to read the posts). So, although it seems a long way off to think about it, how will we end our season?
Our third play will be (sound trumpet fanfare):
Take Away The Lady by Jimmie Chinn
This time we drift away a little from our usual fare of comedies and farces and treat you to a crime mystery. Jayne Hewson will be directing and it won’t be the first time she has put together a Jimmie Chinn production. Three years ago we did Sylvia’s Wedding and we enjoyed his story telling and style. It was this experience that drew Jayne to search for more of his plays during our summer reading and planning period. She discovered that his plays cover a range of styles and subjects and she was surprised to see that he had written what appeared to be a traditional Agatha Christie-ish whodunnit. “I was intrigued – I read it and enjoyed it and so submitted it to the group” she said, and was pleased to find that the reading went well. “Everyone seemed to enjoy it and it was well received by everyone including our more youthful members so it was nice to see that it could be appreciated by a younger audience too.”
“Well, it’s different to our usual plays – not modern but not period. By that I mean some plays seem very dated in the way they are written.” Jayne explained that she had expected the rather stilted feel of a post-war Agatha Christie – its set in a family country house, perhaps in the late fifties / early sixties with a murderer in the midst – but then realised that he had written this in the 1980s in his more natural and observational style, and all the better for it.
In the play Chinn gives us glimpses into a cupboard full of family skeletons, together with some serious, and not so serious, detective work that keeps everyone guessing until the end:
Returning home from prison, after serving fifteen years for allegedly murdering his mother, Matthew finds his three sisters, his wife and his father waiting for him. Still protesting his innocence, Matthew’s arrival prompts the question, if he didn’t kill Mother, who did – scornful Celia, dotty Emma, cold Lavinia, flighty Gilda or even gentle Father?
As Jayne says “It’s not a comedy but it does have humour. It’s a wonderful gentle thriller with everyone a possible suspect and it has a few nice twists along the way.”
For now the scripts are put to one side as we work through rehearsals for the first play but we feel it will round off the season nicely – a classic big-hit comedy, then a modern local drama/comedy to the finale of a gentle but intriguing thriller.
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