TITLE: Season's Greetings
PLAYWRIGHT: Alan Ayckbourn
PERFORMANCE DATES: 21st-23rd November 2013
DIRECTOR: Sadie Ashton
Neville Bunker - Graeme Parker
Belinda, his wife - Linda Baillie
Phyllis, his sister - Barbara Miller
Harvey, his uncle - David Lane
Bernard, Phyllis’ husband - George Horne
Rachel, Belinda’s sister - Jill Pearson
Eddie - Brian Rowland
Pattie, Eddie’s wife - Nicki Clay
Clive - Phil Pickering
Click HERE for production programme
It is Christmas at Belinda and Neville’s house and they have invited their family for a traditional Christmas celebration. The guests include: Neville’s exhausted sister Phyllis; her husband Bernard, a doctor whose annual puppet shows are the stuff of legend and terror to both young and old alike; Neville’s friend Eddie and his pregnant wife Pattie; uncle Harvey, a slightly senile retired security guard and a television-addict; Belinda’s unmarried sister, Rachel; Clive, a writer and friend of Rachel. Clive arrives late by train, is missed by Rachel, and is instead welcomed by Belinda, who is immediately attracted to him. Harvey, as a result of a misunderstanding, takes an immediate dislike to Clive, believing him to be a homosexual and prospective thief. Clive falls for the frustrated Belinda after Rachel tells him she is looking for no more than friendship. He and Belinda attempt to fulfil their passions beneath the Christmas tree, but are discovered when they set off the various electronic toys and lights beneath the tree in, initially, their lust and then their desperate attempts to turn everything off. On Boxing Day, Clive arranges to leave as soon as he can. Meanwhile, rehearsals are taking place for Bernard’s puppet show The Three Little Pigs, all his efforts being undermined by Harvey. Bernard eventually snaps and tirades against Harvey. Very early the following morning, Clive, in the process of leaving, is intercepted by Harvey who believes he is a thief taking all the presents. Harvey promptly shoots Clive, who is pronounced dead by the ineffectual Bernard. The ‘corpse’ promptly lets out a moan and calls for Belinda, rather than Rachel. He is taken to hospital and Belinda and Neville are left together, Neville choosing to ignore all that has happened.
CHAIR’S PRODUCTION NOTES
HELLO AND WELCOME TO ‘SEASON’S GREETINGS’ ON BEHALF OF MYSELF AND ALL OF THE MONDAY PLAYERS.
Internationally, 1993 heralded some bold initiatives and new beginnings: a signed agreement involving the Middle East; a peace pact in Northern Island; a Nobel Peace Prize to mark the end of apartheid in South Africa. We weren’t on the world stage, but in the autumn of that year, a small group of local people gathered under the leadership of Sadie Ashton to create our first play on 3rd and 4th of December 1993 – Season’s Greetings by Alan Ayckbourn. A bold initiative and a new beginning! Tonight’s anniversary show, and only repeat in twenty years, will be our seventh Ayckbourn play and fortieth production – 34 plays, 5 cabaret evenings and a pantomime since 1993. Our catalogue of productions over the past two decades shows diversity, development, ambition and challenge. The recreational rewards – the achievement and pleasure of storytelling; the fellowship generated by common purpose is as strong as ever. Season’s Greetings 2013 has not lost any of its complexity or challenge for us, and we hope that this version will be just as entertaining. Finally, we thank many of you for your patronage and generous support over the years, it is much appreciated. Enjoy the play.