Thursday, 24 April 2008

Home Ground

I’d never written for live performance until I was commissioned to write a Victorian murder mystery event – which turned into ‘Who Killed George Hargrave?’ The event was originally requested by Cheshire Libraries, and first performed at Ellesmere Port, back in 2004. I thought I would probably run the event a few more times, and then that would be it. Apart from any other consideration, I assumed I would find it dull putting on the same event time and time again. I’ve got a pretty low boredom threshold and I’m really keen on variety.

But things didn’t turn out the way I expected, and ‘Who Killed George Hargrave?’ has now been performed a good many times since then – in fact, half a dozen times already this calendar year. On each occasion, a different cast and a new venue make it all seem fresh, even to me.

The event has been performed up and down England, but last night, it came home – to newly refurbished and re-opened Lymm Library. I was startled, though, when Cheryl, a librarian closely involved with the event, who also played the character of Martha Foxall, told me that the youthful cast were not going to read their scripts, but actually memorise them. High risk, I thought. The script is quite tightly worded, and it would be easy to miss some vital clues.

However, the cast performed with real gusto and the result was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The scene setting also included a number of original touches. But that’s the last Victorian mystery until October (when the suspects in George’s murder will re-surface in Blackpool.) I’ll be getting on with the new novel over the summer. At least, that’s the plan.

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