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The Brown Felt Hat

    by Tony Layton


     

Synopsis

It's 1942 in a seaside resort in the North of England. A young woman, Ann, and her daughter, Beth, arrive from Wales, escaping the bombing, to work in her sister's hotel. The sister, Pat, is a domineering, self-made business woman. She drives herself and her small staff hard for reasons that slowly become apparent.

There is no room for sisterly love in this place. They are all fighting their own wars and surviving the best way they know how. As Ann says, "War brings out the best and the worst in people", and this is clearly reflected in the humour that sustains them in contrast to the strict regime run by Pat.

Eventually, Ann and particularly Beth, are forced to face one of their greatest fears and that is, to return to the bombing. It may be a step too far for Beth. The brown felt hat is a symbol of good times, of well-being, of self esteem and of magical escape. It is a prop which helps the wearer to escape the ugliness of war.

Also available in the anthology 'Dreams And Delusions (Vol 1)' together with 'Remembrance Day' and 'The Cafe Sirocco'


Duration

40 mins approx

Characters

(8f)

Ann - a young, divorced woman, mid-thirties, gentle and feminine
Beth - 13, daughter of Ann, has her mother's nature
Betty - a young woman from Glasgow, a natural comedian with a few rough edges
Pat - Ann's older sister, a tough domineering self-made business woman
Gwen - one of Ann's work colleagues (could also double with Miss Price)
Carol - another of Ann's work colleagues (could also double with Teacher)
 
Miss Price - a smart business woman
Teacher - a middle aged authoritarian
 
Parts can be doubled up using a minimum cast of six women.

     


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