Selfless. By Anita Sullivan. Drew is brought into A&E by a car-driver who saw him come off his motorbike. He is concussed and has broken his ankle, but that’s not all; he can’t remember who he is or where he lives. He isn’t carrying a phone and all he has in his wallet is a bank-card and a video-shop membership. The hospital will only discharge Andrew if he is watched for the next 24 hours. Owen, the driver, offers to put him up for the night. Owen is the perfect host and the flat is beautiful but it is on the third floor and the injured Andrew starts to feel trapped. The only thing he can remember is a phone number and a name – Elspeth. Anita Sullivan’s play is a psychological thriller locked in a claustrophobic space.
Hard Road. By Simon Vinnicombe. Bradley is a young man setting out on an adventure. Struggling both at school and at home, he decides he has to get away and chooses the place where he used to holiday with his mum. But travelling is never that easy.
Chocky. By John Wyndham. When young Matthew starts talking to himself, and introduces his invisible friend Chocky to the family, his parents decide it’s just a phase he is going through. But when Matthew starts explaining binary maths and anti-gravity propulsion, they begin to worry. Is Chocky really just the product of an over-inactive imagination, or something more?
Frankenstein. By Mary Shelley. In a series of letters, Robert Walton, the captain of a ship bound for the North Pole, recounts to his sister back in England the progress of his dangerous mission. Successful early on, the mission is soon interrupted by seas full of impassable ice. Trapped, Walton encounters Victor Frankenstein, who has been traveling by dog-drawn sledge across the ice and is weakened by the cold. Walton takes him aboard ship, helps nurse him back to health, and hears the fantastic tale of the monster that Frankenstein created.
Find another production of Frankenstein in ‘The Gothic Imagination’ series on Page 65.
Mrs Shakespeare , by Robert Nye, creates an intriguing fictionalised look into the secret life of the famous playwright and his laconic wife. Shakespeare’s last will and testament, like most of his life is shrouded in mystery and in this piece, Mrs Shakespeare offers an intriguing and somewhat bawdy explanation as to why her husband left her his second best bed.
Mustard Seed. By Nick Warburton. A beautiful touching story based on a Buddist fable. A traveller passing through a remote village receives a desperate request from a deserted mother to cure her only son.
I Love Stephen Fry. By Jon Canter. Jackie, a woman with a midlife crisis and a snoring husband, starts to fantasise about other men. In her dreams, Jackie is in love with Stephen Fry – who is everything her husband is not: eloquent, metropolitan, learned and gay. But what does Stephen think and should she tell him she loves him?
An Unhappy Countess. Documentary film maker Paul Watson’s play is based on the story of Mary Eleanor Bowes, a sensual young woman who inherited a legacy of six hundred thousand pounds, a huge sum in 1786. Every adventurer in the land was seeking a slice of her good fortune, and she was to discover that nobody could be trusted.
The Inextinguishable Fire. By Zosia Wand. In July 1914 Joseph Conrad visited Poland, a country on the brink of war, with his wife Jessie and their two young sons. The visit evoked painful memories and engendered unexpected personal struggles. With Henry Goodman, Denise Black, Adam Paulden, Ashley Margolis. Directed by Nadia Molinari.
More Peter Tinniswood on the Peter Tinniswood Page.
High Table, Lower Order. By Mark Tavener. Comedy drama series set in a Cambridge college riven by argument between traditionalists and modernisers. The college is in dire financial straits and Simon finds himself bereft of a job. Could this be the perfect opportunity for Gilbert to furnish the college with a somewhat more popular course and satisfyingly upset the Dean in the process?
Pattern Recognition. By William Gibson. Cayce Pollard is a “coolhunter”. Her gifts are an innate ability in “pattern recognition”, a skill essential in trendspotting, and a unique allergy to, and therefore an ability to identify, winning logos. These gifts make her an indispensable tool for multinational marketing magnates.
Lessons for the Loveless. By Richard Cameron. Four disaffected teenagers and their drama teacher are trying to mount an improvised play around the Seven Ages of Man. Time, however, is not on their side.
Going for Broke. By Mike Yeaman. Colin and Marion have reached that stage in life where retirement starts to peek over the horizon and thoughts turn to the life of gentle luxury that will make up for those long years of drudgery and sacrifice. Except that like many nowadays, they are starting to realise that life as a pensioner is shaping up to be more of a grim struggle to make ends meet than a timeless paddle in the warm waters of some sun-drenched paradise. So they decide to to milk the system for all it’s worth.
Haunted Hospital. By Trevor Hoyle. A ghost story set in a hospital in Rochdale featuring two parallel storylines, one contemporary and the other set in the late 1800s, the latter drawing on real historical events.
Accolades. In 1973, Oxford academic AL Rowse published the work that would establish his name internationally – Shakespeare The Man, in which he claimed to have decoded Shakespeare’s sonnets and finally discovered the identity of the playwright’s mysterious Dark Lady. But was his ‘discovery’ based on a simple misreading?