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Special Features

    by Nick Broadhead



Comedy Play Script: 'Special Features' by Nick BroadheadSynopsis

The audience is slightly surprised when the latest offering by the Chedley Mortimer Playhouse Players ends abruptly, with no resolution of the slightly absurd plot, which contains blatant product placements for local businesses.

As the applause dies down, Marjorie Hopwood, the leading lady, introduces Robin Curzon, the play’s Director, who (after berating modern audiences for behaving at the theatre as though they were lounging at home in front of a DVD) explains that this audience is about to witness a theatrical first – the opportunity to scroll through the ‘Special Features’ of the play, as though it were a DVD.

During every ensuing Scene, the critical points of the play’s production are re-visited, allowing the audience to piece together some of the questions raised in the act that they have already seen: What is the significance of the parrot? Why has such a terrible actor been cast as the leading man? Why does a Hollywood screenwriter write a play every other year for such a second rate Amdram group? And how did the leading lady break her leg?

The entire play takes place in a bedroom, with slight scenery shifts to convey that it is a different bedroom at different times and the audience enjoys discovering who has been smuggled in, under cover of the duvet changes, to occupy (or hide beneath, on occasions) the double bed.

This comedy, with its unique take on a play within a play, has been compared to ‘Noises Off’, with the ingenious twists and turns of the plot and its hilarious dialogue.


Characters

(5m, 4f, 1m/f)

  Marjorie Hopwood (Dorothy) - 50’s, sister of Kenneth and co-owner of ‘The Shingles’
  Neil Harris (Troy) - 20’s, Chedley Mortimer Playhouse Players young male lead
  Claire Wilson (Millie) - 20’s, Chedley Mortimer Playhouse Players young female lead
  Kenneth Hopwood (Tom) - 50’s, brother of Marjorie, and co-owner of ‘The Shingles’
  Robin Curzon - 50’s/60’s, the Director of the Chedley Mortimer Playhouse Players
  Bryn Goodlass - 50’s, a playwright of some renown
  Louise Goodlass - 40’s/50’s, Bryn’s wife
  Emma - any age, unimaginative cleaner/waitress at ‘The Shingles’ guesthouse
  Eric Harrison - 50’s, an actor with Chedley Mortimer Playhouse Players
  Prompt - any age, (m/f)



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