Date set for performance of new play!



The Partington One Act Play Festival will be held in the week from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th July 2017. Two plays will be performed each evening before a paying audience in the presence of the adjudicator. The adjudicator will provide feedback on each play and at the end of the week will make awards for best script and production, best actor and best actress - with the possibility of special certificates (to be awarded at her discretion).

I’ve just been given the date and time for my new play, Bequest: 7.30 p.m. on Monday 3rd. It’s to be the first play in the 2017 Festival.

Bequest opens with the lawyer, Richard, alone on stage, working at papers, looking anxiously at his watch, answering the telephone, walking off stage-right to find a particular book, returning to answer the phone again… Three minutes pass before another character enters. Everyone with theatre experience says that being alone on stage, particularly at the start of a drama, is challenging, and three minutes can seem like a lifetime.

My two actress colleagues have browbeaten me into taking the role of Richard. And I’ve never acted on stage in my life. So the Festival will open with a completely novice actor on stage at the start of a brand new, never-previously-performed play.

Do the organisers imagine that this will get the Festival off to a strong start, setting the bar high for the other theatre companies whose work is to follow? If so, I fear they might be disappointed!

Nevertheless, have I ever refused a challenge? Well, not one of this kind, anyway.

But please wish me luck; and if you join the audience on the Night of Doom, please don’t be too unkind!

4 Comments

  • Congrats! And break a leg!

    (I don’t mean that in a mean way, you understand… as an actor–in that sadistic way they have–I hope you fracture your femur or something–which, I’m sure, is all completely metaphorical… certainly as the writer of the play, I hope all your limbs remain intact and hale and healthy………

    (I probably should have just gone with ‘good luck’, hey? Okay!))

    GOOD LUCK!!

    • Mark Henderson

      Thank you, Mishka! Indeed, I was introduced to the beneficent use of “Break a Leg” in a thespian setting when my first play was staged, last summer. Your good wishes are duly appreciated!

  • Mark, I know the play will be wonderful. Congratulations! Would love to see it. A man of many talents. And yes, three minutes may seem a very long time, but perfectly confident of your abilities.
    Wishing you the best!

    • Mark Henderson

      Thanks, Phibby! Rehearsals are starting to go quite well, thanks to my two fellow-actors – both those ladies have lots of theatre experience so they’re helping me along!

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