The Big Bang Mystery
The quiet village of Pillaton experienced murder on two nights in April when Inspector Bilge (Don King) came to talk about his experiences in the MOD Police.
The story started with Jane the Maid (Jenny Wheeley) welcoming a visitor, Commander Stephen Unshore (Dick Woodley), to the home of Sir Anthony Asitall (Giles Greenhough). Cdr. Unshore was met by Felicity Longing (Marie Sims), personal secretary to Sir Anthony.
It soon became clear that Felicity was having an affair with Sir Anthony as the first clinch testified. This was greeted by oohs and aahs from the audience who did not want the clinch to stop. Sir Anthony's wife, Lady Hannah Asitall (Beth Bailey) had as her confidant her loyal and long-standing housekeeper, Mrs. Mavis Billet (Alison Downing). However, Mrs. Billet was not at all enamoured with Sir George Big-Bang (Pete Francis), a wealthy arms manufacturer, and was heard to describe him as "a wicked evil man".
The final character in the plot was Philip Feeble (Chris Ley) a Third Secretary at the War Office with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Throughout the plot, the characters used some very colourful language with Philip Feeble describing Sir Anthony as an "upper crust, public school bastard", Sir George saying that Philip Feeble was "feeble by name and feeble by nature" and Sir Anthony describing Felicity as " a tart"! Perhaps though the words of Philip most aptly described the plot when he said "what a tangled web we weave . . ."
However, in the end Inspector Bilge got his man and Pillaton Church and the Precious Lives Appeal will share £890. So, it is a very big thank you to all the cast and to all the backstage helpers. These include Gilly Ogilvie, Ian Edwards, Dave Dolley, Brian Henderson, Dawn Opie, Mary Schofield, John Wheeley and Liz Llewellyn-Jones.
Thanks too to Shirley for promoting yet another wonderful "Shirley meal".
However, the biggest thanks of all must go to Jo and Don King. From a conversation in my house, where the possibility of staging a murder mystery was discussed, to these two evenings of fun and entertainment was due to Jo and Don. At the original meeting Jo said she wondered if Don would be interested (well actually she said "have his arm twisted") in writing the script and that she would ask him. A couple of days later came back the phone call - "He'll do it!". It started from there . . .
So Don took on the task of devising the plot, and all its intricacies, and Jo the task of directing. What a job they did as the outcome testifies. So thank you Jo and Don.
As the plot was set in 1948, many of the audience came dressed for the occasion with some spectacular outfits. Small token prizes were awarded to the best 1940's dressed lady and gentleman on each evening. The cast were the judges for these prizes and had a difficult decision on both nights.
On the Friday night, prizes went to Dee Easton from Callington and Roger Hoskin. On Saturday night they went to Andrea Walters and Omar M'Hand. (No, Omar wasn't wearing Roger's costume from the night before!)
There were a number of other people whose costumes were of note. These included Mark Rundle, Angela Greenhough, Jan White, Julie M'Hand, Margaret Hoskin and Peter Lee.
I know that both Jo and Don hoped that by staging this production, amateur dramatics may become revived once again in Pillaton. It appears that this may be the case as there is some interest. So, if you are interested in acting, producing or directing then please say so as I am sure that Jo and Don will welcome you with open arms.
Thanks again to everyone who supported this event in any way whatsoever, including all those who donated raffle prizes. The amount of money raised was amazing.