TITLE: Season’s Greetings
PLAYWRIGHT: Alan Ayckbourn
PERFORMANCE DATES: December 1993
DIRECTOR: Sadie Ashton
Neville Bunker - Geoffrey Harris
Belinda, his wife - Barbara Miller
Phyllis, his sister - Pam Newsholme
Harvey, his uncle - Richard Knott
Bernard, Phyllis’ husband - Frank Atkinson
Rachel, Belinda’s sister - Vicky Joughin
Eddie - Simon Dowswell
Pattie, Eddie’s wife - Alma Belbin
Clive - David Lane
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.