Screenplay is a collection of four new plays – all set in a cinema.
1936. An Empty Seat by Jimmy Osborne
Mae has landed her dream job as an usherette working the opening night of Scarborough Odeon at the screening of The Ghost Goes West. It’s a full house except for one seat next to the town outcast. Can Mae see past Henry’s betrayal and find mutual ground?
1954. The Illicit Dark by Isabel Wright
A showing of Rear Window brings together three people with mysterious intentions. Is Jeanne being watched by Charles? Does he have a violent past? And is Susan, the cinema usherette, trying to protect or take advantage of Jeanne’s concerns?
1973. Double Feature by Kate Brower
It’s a midnight movie double bill of The Wicker Man and Don’t Look Now. A night out ought to bring Richie and Diana closer together, by fear if nothing else. But who is the unseen Jules adding fuel to the fire?
1998. Bit Part by Claudine Toutoungi
Sisters Julie and Martine are polar opposites with an attraction wearing thin. Awaiting their screen debuts as extras in Little Voice, now is the time to speak up about what lies ahead.
It’s the same acting team as did Cox and Box – Mrs Bouncer’s Legac and they are very good.
Indeed, I am beginning to think they can do no wrong.
Some of the story-lines are a little trite and rely on man v woman or husband v wife conflict rather too heavily, but this team of three – Paul Ryan, Charlotte Harwood and Lara Stubbs – work really well together.
The plays have the advantage of being very short - sustaining a play over a whole evening may be a challenge, but in the format of Screenplay they work well.
One of them, The Illicit Dark (Rear Window), hints at all sorts of possible naughtiness, but resolves into something much more sinister. The final one lightens the tone and uses Little Voice and its impact on some of the Scarborough people who played the extras to great effect.
Mike Tilling’s full review can be read in the Scarborough News.
Screenplay runs in repertory with Cox and Box at the McCarthy Studio until August 30.