Our November 2021 production will be the world premiere of Life, Love, Murder by Grant Davis – five playlets, all linked in some way to the Excelsior Hotel, mostly lighthearted, each with a twist in the tail.

Production dates: 17 to 20 November 2021

Director: Martin Pickering

Auditions: 8pm on Wednesday 28 July 2021
in the Green Room at The Pavilion, Punch Croft, New Ash Green DA3 8HS

Please use the form below if you are interested in auditioning or to find out more.

Rehearsal nights to be agreed with the cast but ending with rehearsals on the afternoon of Sunday 14 November and the evenings of Sunday 14 to Tuesday 16 November.

You do not need to be a member of Hartley Players to audition but, if you are successful, you will need to become a member (£15 p.a.)

Synopses of the playlets:
Act One – Good for the soul
Set in Dijon, Bernard, a member of the gendarmerie is asked to burn a priest’s life’s work of writing down his parishioner’s confessions but his curiosity gets the better of him. Four of the confessions are acted out by the penitent characters. It soon becomes obvious that the confessions are interrelated and the cause of the death of the lumber-mill owner isn’t as clear cut as might be thought. The policeman realises how he is also included, albeit innocently, in the whole affair.

Act Two – Baggage
In this comedy, Neville and Gina Chapter are meeting for their divorce and it quickly transpires that their divorce lawyers were once married to each other and now, too, are divorced. The lawyers find themselves reliving their divorce and forcing their clients to go through the questions and suspicions they both had. Neville, accused of adultery by Gina, finds sympathy with Dennis, his lawyer, who was divorced for having an affair with a younger woman.

Act Three – Thursday’s Child
Jonathon, a feckless wastrel, is in dire financial trouble from yet another failed venture. His millionaire father, realising that his son is looking to be bailed out, cancels his son’s cards, phone contract and locks him out of his flat. He hopes to humble his son by making him homeless for a few weeks. Meanwhile we meet Lucy, who is attempting to write a dissertation on homelessness and assumes that Jonathon is bona fide homeless. When they find a long-term homeless man who is dying, it causes Jonathon to revaluate his position.

Act Four – A Class Act
In this comedy, two couples sit at an outdoor community revue event. One couple is working class, the other middle class. Pauline Stevens is a social climber; a dyed-in-the-wool snob who is determined to press home her status, failing miserably. Then her husband Carl suddenly realises that Anthony Buckeridge, despite his working class appearance, is the owner of a chain of hotels, including the Excelsior where he is due to be interviewed for the position of manager.

Act Five – It just writes itself
In this comedy, Ambrose Flynn turns up to a cancelled murder weekend at the Excelsior Hotel. Flynn, unaware that hte event has been cncelled, has assumed the role of detective and, stumbling across a real murder, assumes the game is now afoot. Flynn is certain that the two detectives who turn up are part of the murder weekend and refuses to cooperate, insisting that the murder is his case to solve. Angry that Flynn is frustrating their investigation and realising he has an alibi, they put him on a train home, where his true identity is revealed.

Anyone auditioning could try for just one part in one playlet or up to five parts (one in each playlet). Carl and Helen each appear in two plays. Some ages and genders (with the author’s permission) are flexible.

Act one – Good for the Soul       
Bernard – A Police Officer
Father Arnette – A Priest
Pascal Navet – A Restaurateur
Maurice Carpentier – A Lumber Mill Owner
Sandra Navet – Wife of Pascal; Secretary to Maurice
Christine Carpentier – Wife of Maurice Carpentier
Grim Reaper (optional character)

Act two – Baggage          
Terry Jenkins – Gina’s Divorce Lawyer
Dennis Raven – Neville’s divorce lawyer
Neville Chapter – Gina’s husband
Gina Chapter – Neville’s wife

Act three – Thursday’s Child      
Jonathon Difford – A Feckless Wastrel
Lucy – A University Student
Lord Difford – A Self-Made Millionaire
Martha – A Bag Lady
Helen – Hotel Receptionist
Stanley Petty – A Vagrant
A Waiter or Waitress

Act four – Class Act        
Carl Stevens – Concert Goer
Pauline Stevens – Concert Goer
Anthony Buckeridge – Concert Goer
Lisa Buckeridge – Concert Goer

Act five – It Just Writes Itself     
Ambrose Flynn – A Hotel Guest
Carl Stevens – Hotel Manager
Helen – Hotel Receptionist
DCI Rawlings – Detective Inspector
DS Curtis – Detective Sergeant
Train Passenger