Monthly Play Readings
The club holds monthly play readings on the first Wednesday of each month. This acts both as a way of introducing new plays to the members, of providing a club activity for members not currently actively involved in a production, and also as a social event for club members. The evenings are held at members houses, and the only requirement to take part is to turn up with enthusiasm (and a small contribution to the refreshments).
NEXT PLAY READING
NB: AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER DETAILS BELOW!
In August we will be reading an Alan Ayckbourn:
Time of My Life
By Alan Ayckbourn
Venue: Chez Rina. CEIA, Boulevard St. Michel, 1040 Etterbeek, 2 August, 7.45pm
Time of my Life takes place in Essa de Calvi, a ‘foreign’ restaurant: its exact nationality remains unclear!
The play begins as a family meets to celebrate Laura’s birthday. It is typical Ayckbourn, and therefore the family are of course in for a bumpy ride! Along the way we meet a cast of waiters – all of whom are related in this family-run restaurant and all of whom, interestingly, are cast to be played by the same actor – who must have some jolly quick costume and make-up changes!
During the course of the play we will follow Laura and Gerry’s story as it proceeds in “real” time. Glyn and Stephanie’s story will run at a different pace, at a different table, into the future, and we will look back at Adam and Maureen’s story, again at a different table.
Laura: 50s, mother, wife of Gerry. A force to be reckoned with. Despite the appearance of being no more than a support to her husband, she has in fact played a vital and largely unsung role in her husband’s success. She is just as astute and determined as him.
Gerry: 50s, father, husband of Laura. Successful, self-made business man. Originally a builder, he has diversified and weathered economic storms and recessions through a combination of astuteness and ruthlessness. Visibly he is very much the head of the family, a man who rarely if ever expects his words or actions to be questioned.
Glyn: Elder son. Late 20s, at first glance very much his father’s son. But he has lived for too long in Gerry’s shadow, and been compared unfavourably to him once too often. He has tried to compete with his over-competitive parent and failed. He has been groomed to take over the family business, but it is unlikely that the firm will survive when he does. He has charm, but little of his father’s drive or ambition.
Stephanie: Mid 20s, Glyn’s wife. Has one child and, due to recent emotional upheavals in her marriage, has worn less well than she should have for someone reasonably comfortably off and with few material worries. In marrying Glyn she may have hoped she was marrying the father, but has learnt better.
Adam: Younger son. Early 20s. Apple of his mother’s eye, he is a nervous, uncoordinated windmill of a boy and in gatherings such as this hopelessly out of his depth.
Maureen: Adam’s girlfriend. Very much the outsider, who is meeting the family for the first time.
The Restaurant Staff
Tuto: Eternally cheerful and happy to serve
Bengie: Younger, no English
Dinka: In his 30s, constantly sour
Ernesto Calvinu: Middle-aged, ample, the owner of the restaurant
Aggi: Middle aged. Has adopted Adam & Maureen who first fell in love at one of his tables and feels responsible for their continued happiness. Prone to bursts of unaccompanied, full-blooded singing of folk songs in his native tongue, which he hopes will further the course of true love.
ADVANCE WARNING: SEPTEMBER!
Appointment with Death
By Agatha Christie
Venue: Chez Janet, Rue des Atrebates 27, 1040 Brussels, 6 September, 7.45pm
The play opens as the family and the victim are introduced through the perspective of Sarah King and Dr. Gerard, who discuss the behavior of the family. Mrs. Boynton is sadistic and domineering, which she may have inculcated from her original profession: prison warden. Sarah is attracted to Raymond Boynton, while Jefferson Cope admits to wanting to take Nadine Boynton away from her husband, Lennox Boynton, and the influence of her mother-in-law. Having been thwarted in her desire to free the young Boyntons, Sarah confronts Mrs. Boynton whose apparent reply is a strange threat: “I’ve never forgotten anything – not an action, not a name, not a face.” When the party reaches Petra, Mrs. Boynton uncharacteristically sends her family away from her for a period. Later, she is found dead with a needle puncture in her wrist.
- Colonel Carbury, senior figure in Transjordania
- Mrs Boynton, the victim
- Ginevra Boynton, the victim’s stepdaughter
- Raymond Boynton, the victim’s youngest stepson
- Lennox Boynton, the victim’s eldest stepson
- Nadine Boynton, the victim’s stepdaughter-in-law (Lennox’s wife)
- Jefferson Cope, a family friend
- Dr Gerard, a French psychologist
- Sarah King, a young doctor
- Lady Westholme, a member of Parliament
- Miss Pryce, a former nursery governess
- Alderman Higgs, fellow traveller
For those of you who are new to the play reading group, we meet at 7.45pm aiming to start reading at 8. We have drinks and nibbles, and a small contribution in the form of a bottle or something to eat is always welcome!
Although Mary and Barbara are still very much our guiding lights, Mary is no longer ringing around to remind people. However, every month Janet emails a reminder to people who have attended in the past and wish to be on the mailing list for these reminders. If you would like to be added to the ECC Play Reading Email List, please email Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Doodle: All you have to do is click on the link above, add your name to the list under ‘Table View’, click in the box to show you are coming (or do nothing if you’re not!) and then ‘Save’ your entry. If you have any problem with this, please do not hesitate to contact Janet – or simply ring Mary.