stories, plays and poetry  

ever simpler
Ageing concert pianist Montevicello feels his talent has deserted him and is now just going through the motions.  That is, until his muse Beethoven shows up and frightens him back to brilliance.  A Radio 4 short story.
Read by Jonathan Hunter

beethoven

storm
A poem from Doggerel read by Angela Patmore

storm

bryony
Another poem from Doggerel read by Jonathan Hunter

bryony

 

 

 

harrowing
hamlet

Harrowing hamlet Cover
outline

There are darker things in a theatre than stage fright. A controversial production of Hamlet is in rehearsals at Drury Lane, the setting for some of Regency tragedian Edmund Kean’s most mindboggling performances. In one of those outings, as Sir Giles Overreach in Philip Massinger’s A New Way to Pay Old Debts, the great actor was reputedly possessed by the Devil. The leading man in our modern production is hellraising Irish genius Declan Mahoney, obsessed with Kean and determined to pay homage in his performance. The show is already marred by terrible friction between Mahoney and tyrannical director Daniel Loxley over who actually creates ‘character’ in a stage play, and by disturbing hostile interventions of someone - or something - in the theatre. The black magic of stage superstition is activated by a seemingly harmless object brought into the building by poetical journalist Stencie Smith, whose brief is to interview Mahoney. This strange but ancient mascot unleashes triumph, tragedy and terror.
ISBN: 9781785100154
Total Pages: 214
Published: 8 September 2014
Price: £6.99
Available from Feed A Read
 
hosting kean
- a play about
acting....
Edmund Kean

 

outline

A controversial modern production of Hamlet is in rehearsals at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the setting for Regency tragedian Edmund Kean’s most mindboggling performances. As Sir Giles Overreach in Philip Massinger’s A New Way to Pay Old Debts, the late great actor, of whom Hazlitt said: ‘He bore on his brow the mark of the fire from heaven’, was reputedly possessed by the Devil. Spectators fainted and Lord Byron suffered a convulsive fit in his box. What actually happened to Kean that night remains a mystery. Here is a present-day spin-off.

The aim has been to bridge the gap between possibly the greatest actor who ever lived and modern audiences who know little or nothing about him. The plot offers to do this by exploring, in a 2014 production, the madness in acting and the terrifying forces unleashed when performers take risks with their identity, as Kean did himself. 2014 will mark the bicentenary of his first appearance on the London stage.

The leading man in our modern Hamlet is uncontrollable Irish genius Declan Mahoney, obsessed with Kean as a fellow hell-raising Celt and determined to pay homage in his own performance. As ‘coke-head’ Declan goes for broke in honour of his hero, breakages occur elsewhere.

The Hamlet show is already marred by three things. First, by sponsorship from an American tobacco company, whose CEO Harvey Burns has been roped into bankrolling it by his actress cousin Sally, playing Gertrude however badly. Second, by a power struggle between star Mahoney and tyrannical English director Daniel Loxley (Sally’s husband) concerning who owns or creates ‘character’ in a production. And last but not least, by disturbing hostile interventions of someone - or something - in the theatre keen, as it were, to be involved in the undertaking.

The scary black magic of theatre superstition is activated by a seemingly harmless object brought into the building by brainy journalist Stencie Smith, whose brief is to interview Mahoney and who throws herself on the pyre by falling for him. Fardels Bear (as in ‘who would fardels bear/To grunt and sweat under a weary life…’) is a strange but ancient ‘lucky’ mascot, retrieved by builders from Tunbridge Wells Corn Exchange, the former theatre and Kean stomping ground. When Stencie acquires the antique she gives it to leading lady Julia Lord, whose laddish boyfriend John Padgett becomes its first victim. The malign influence of Fardels leads to black farce, violent theatre politics, epiphany, triumph and tragedy.

Some of the more disturbing scenes provide a golden opportunity for stage special effects.

 

       
        © Angela Patmore 2013 • All rights reserved  
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