Two – ‘One Act Plays’
These two plays are directorial debuts for Mandy Hiscock (The Dear Departed) and Rose Lancaster (The Chinese Room) giving them an opportunity to flex their creative muscles and, we hope, go on to direct more productions for the Players.
The Dear Departed by Stanley Houghton
This short play is a satire of the degradation of British moral values – especially when there is an inheritance at stake!
It is a sharp, witty and comic commentary on the state of social and familial norms. Adapted from an original novel into a play, it deals with two sisters squabbling over their father’s possessions – the Dear Departed of the title – after one of them, with whom he has been living and who has been looking after him, discovers him cold and unresponsive in his bed.
The other sister immediately puts in an appearance and disagreements and hostilities arise between them. Their put-upon husbands try to keep the peace, but it is the sisters who hold sway. However, these two greedy women have a surprise in store and the story has an uplifting and amusing twist in the tale.
The Chinese Room by Andy Hutchings
This original play, which has only been performed as a full-length production once before, is a thought-provoking premise and treats on technological advances relating to artificial intelligence. It’s an exploration of the moral impact of such scientific experiments and what effect it may have on all of us.
Three women with very different personalities and backgrounds and who are strangers to each other, have volunteered to take part in a psychological experiment. They do not know what the experiment is or what is expected of them, except that they are locked together in a bunker for seven days with no contact with the outside world.
They try and work out who they are – not all of them are what they seem – and the purpose of the experiment.
Has the experiment been a success and who will make it out at the end of the week?