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TITLE: Taking Steps  PLAYWRIGHT: Alan Ayckbourn PERFORMANCE DATES: 18th-20th November 2010  DIRECTOR: Barbara Miller 


Elizabeth Nicki Clay Mark, her brother Graeme Parker Tristram, a solicitor John Catley Roland, Elizabeth’s husband Hugh Dower Leslie, a builder David Lane Kitty, Mark’s fiancee Norma Nicholson Click HERE for full Cast and Crew details 


At The Pines, a reputedly haunted house and former brothel, Elizabeth is planning on  leaving her husband Roland. She has called on her brother, Mark, to comfort Roland  when he finds her farewell note. However Mark, a man whose monotone sends people  to sleep, is preoccupied with the fact his fiancée, who jilted him at the altar, has been  picked up by the police, apparently for soliciting. He leaves The Pines to pick Kitty up.  Roland is hoping to buy The Pines from a local builder, Bainbridge, and Tristram, a  none-too-bright and extremely nervous solicitor, arrives to complete the sale. Roland, a  man who has made his fortunes in buckets and is not averse to a spot of social  drinking, arrives home drunk. He meets Tristram and, joined by Bainbridge, they tour  the house. Mark returns with Kitty and seeing Elizabeth’s note is still unread, presumes  Roland hasn’t arrived back home. Kitty, neurotic and painfully shy, is left to sleep in the  spare room in the attic, while Mark takes Elizabeth to the railway station. The tour finished, Roland finally reads Elizabeth’s note and breaks down. Bainbridge  and Tristram manage to get him to the master bedroom where Roland implores  Tristram to stay the night rather than leave him ‘alone’ in the house. Tristram agrees  and settles down in the master bedroom while Roland goes to sleeps in the attic. Kitty,  interrupted writing a suicide note, hides in a cupboard and is trapped when Roland  moves the bed across the door.  Elizabeth, meanwhile, has decided against her course of action and returns home,  going to bed with, she presumes, Roland. She proceeds to seduce him – not realizing  she is in bed with a terrified Tristram, who has heard about the ghost and believes he is  being seduced by Scarlet Lucy (who, so the legend goes, will then kill him at daybreak  after the seduction).  Dawn breaks and Tristram is fearful for his life, believing he will die when the sun  touches the bed. Hearing someone in the lounge, he raps Morse code on the bedroom  floor trying not to wake ‘Scarlet Lucy’. His call is answered by Mark, who discovers  Tristram sleeping with his sister. He asks Tristram to step outside, who desperately tries to explain the situation saying Roland slept upstairs. Mark counters by saying Kitty is  upstairs only to discover Roland apparently unconscious next to some sleeping pills  and the suicide note. They manage to get Roland downstairs and, believing he has  overdosed, Mark and Elizabeth try to keep Roland awake. Mark’s voice sends both  Elizabeth and Roland to sleep though and he leaves them snoozing alongside the  suicide note and sleeping pills. Tristram, meanwhile, discovers Kitty and a mutual  attraction through their non-communication. They fall asleep and are discovered by  Mark, who again asks Tristram outside to sort matters out. Kitty instead ventures out,  having found her voice and tells Mark that Tristram has asked her to leave with him.  Bainbridge turns up, unrecognizable in biking leathers, and thinks Elizabeth and Roland  have committed suicide. Elizabeth wakes, mistakes Bainbridge for a burglar and  subdues him. Eventually all is resolved as Roland comes round and identifies  Bainbridge and completes the sale. Mark confronts Kitty for a final time and manages  to bore himself to sleep. Roland celebrates the purchase while Kitty leaves followed by  Tristram. Elizabeth stands on the doorstep, another note in her hand, dithering. 



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