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A Touch Of Familiarity

    by Michael Park


       

Synopsis

Drama Play Script: 'A Touch Of Familiarity' by Michael ParkThe grown-up children of the Northern middle-class Brewster family have mostly gone their separate ways. Middle sister, Jayne, works for the BBC in London, gradually climbing the promotion ladder until she is now in charge of Arts programming. Eldest sister, Brenda, has married the wealthy owner of the biggest bookshop in town and they live on one of the modern estates with their two children. Their younger brother, Adrian, has dropped out following a university education and travels the country supporting a variety of good and bad causes.

Only aspiring artist Melanie has remained in their old home (a large rambling edifice in need of much TLC) together with her widowed mother, Annie. Life seems to be proceeding normally until one evening Annie suffers a stroke and is rushed into hospital. This sends ripples through their lives, with Mel calling the family together for the first time for many years.

Brenda arrives promptly as always with husband Charles, urgent business delays Jayne for a while but she eventually makes it. Sadly, Adrian is out on a demo somewhere down south and thus out of contact. Mel wants to discuss what happens when Annie hopefully recovers enough to come home.

It seems that she will need care and attention for some time and Mel is anxious that this is going to be shared out equally. However, Jayne is desperately busy, Charles is shortly to become the next town mayor, Brenda has family commitments and even if Adrian does turn up he may be of little use. One person who is on hand and has always had a soft spot for Annie is Fred, a local man who has done odd jobs around the house for the family for many years.

How this is all resolved is the theme of a play which is funny and touching in turn, while staying respectful to the serious nature of the debilitating illness. It was written with help and advice from the author’s local branch of the Stroke Association and boasts really strong female leads. It also contains plenty of humorous incidents, mostly at the expense of the male family members, without ever being discourteous to the underlying situation.


Duration

110 mins approx

Characters

(3m, 5f)

  • Melanie Brewster - early twenties, artistic, attractive
  • Fred Watson - sixties, kind-hearted, lacks confidence
  • Lottie Svenborg - young, attractive, Swedish
  • Jayne - (Mel’s sister) twenties, forceful businesswoman
  • Adrian - (Mel’s brother) early twenties, carefree, earnest
  • Brenda - (Mel’s sister) late twenties, strong, efficient
  • Charles - (Brenda’s husband) thirty, under Brenda’s thumb
  • Annie - (Mel’s mother) fifties, homely, has suffered a stroke
  • Tony- (minor role) ambulance driver, young

 


       

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