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Short audio plays from the Talisman Theatre

Here at the Talisman we want to keep Theatre alive during these difficult times.  So whether you’re relaxing after work or trying to fill your days, we offer the chance to take a little break, sit down with a cuppa (or a glass of something) and enjoy a short audio play.  Each weekend we’ll post a new short play.

Words from the Wars


To mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion, a selection of poems reflecting the impact of war.
Readers: Rex Satchwell, Ann Richards, Dik Thacker, Alice Scott & Henri West. Music performed by Romany Pie. Directed by Dave Crossfield.

‘Romero & Juliet’ by Debra A Cole


During World War II many romances bloomed through letters between young women at home and soldiers overseas. Some love stories defined two different lifetimes; others defined four.
Featuring Ellie Gowers, Wendy Morris, Ben Wellicome & Steve Smith. Directed by Jane Yates.

‘Edge’ by Emily Brauer Rogers

In this dark comedy, Dori and Sarah want to sail on to tomorrow, like Thelma and Louise. But things don’t quite go to plan!
There is some strong language in this play.
Featuring Sally Jolliffe & Dawn Morris. Directed by Jill Laurie.

‘The Man in the Middle’ by Matthew Salisbury

On the pitch the referee makes the decisions. He has power over all the players. But who has power over him? Local assessor Michael tries to unravel the very singular mind of oddball referee Brian.
Featuring Rod Wilkinson & John Francis. Directed by Matthew Salisbury.

‘How are you really?’ by Chiedza Rwodzi

This video play is set in a Counselling Agency. Shorai, a counsellor, is sitting at her desk looking very distressed. She is soon joined by her client Sekai.

Please note: the content of this play is not suitable for children.

Featuring Eyahra Mathazia & Munyaradzi Guramatunhu. Directed by Zaza Muchemwa.

‘Ambition’ by Tony Best

Have you ever thought how exciting it would be to have your fondest wishes come true? Three schoolgirls are given the chance to have just this, but things don’t quite work out the way they hope!
Featuring Findlay, Alais, Lilia, Amy & Ellie. Directed by Caroline McCluskey.

‘Grammatically Speaking’ by Marc Harris


Simon seems to have gone down the wrong path in life and decides to carry out his first burglary, unknowingly breaking into his former school teacher’s cottage. But is everything as it seems?
Featuring Sandy Robertson & Guy Devine. Directed by Clare Sykes.

‘Game, Set and Match’ by Charles Essex


Colin is obsessed with tennis and spends all his time at the club, however, his tennis widow Anna has made a shocking discovery…
Featuring Katie-Ann Campbell, Sam Harris & Matt Baxter. Directed by Phil Spencer.

‘Like Father, Like Son’ by Stephen Duckham

Set in the lounge of a private members club, a father and son meet for the first time in thirteen years and the truth is revealed.
Note: content is not suitable for children
Featuring Dave Crossfield, Harry Bowser & Simon Moss. Directed by Gill Bowser.

‘The First Fireworks’ by Alex Broun

A wonderful, moving story about a sick mother, who reveals a long-held secret to her 28-year-old daughter, as they look forward to the annual New Year’s firework celebration.
Featuring Susi Walker & Sophie Mobberley. Direction by Vanessa Comer.

‘Time Wounds All Heels’ by Glenn Alterman   

Two hitmen sit talking on a park bench on a late summer evening, waiting to carry out their latest assignment. They talk.
Featuring Tom O’Connor and Chris Stanford. Directed by Tom O’Connor.

‘It wasn’t my fault’ by Ian Guy

Every villain has a backstory – perhaps they weren’t born bad, perhaps ‘circumstances’ conspired against them. Before judging, let’s listen to their stories.
Silence in Court….
Featuring Gus MacDonald, Val Whitlock and Michael Barker. Directed by Rod Wilkinson.

‘For Abby’ by Holli Harms

At a writer’s retreat in the mountains, Beatrice waits for her new friend but Finn (a successful poet) shows up. Beatrice finally has the chance to confront what happened years ago and hopefully mend the relationship.
Featuring Emily Carleton & James West. Directed by Corrina Jacob.

Jerry’s Women by Herb Isaacs

At the ‘Happy Seniors Retirement Home’ Jerry is surprised by the arrival of his ex-wife. Even more so when her presence starts to cramp his style with a new woman friend!
Featuring Colin Ritchie, Chris Carpenter & Vanessa Comer. Directed by David Draper.

‘Peaches and Chocolate’ by Charles Essex

This is a short 10-minute play on a highly topical theme, given a humorous slant.
Featuring John Fenner, Judy Murdoch and David Draper. Directed by John Fenner.

‘Going out on a limb’ by John Busser

When threatened with termination just how far would you be prepared to go to save your skin? High flying agent Angela faces just such a dilemma and appreciates just in time that the solution has inadvertently presented itself by way of a lucky escape!
Featuring Ruth MacCallum, Sophie Jones & Emma Bright. Directed by Kenny Robinson.

‘Bathroom’ and ‘Hidden Agenda’ by Alex Broun

These two short plays features two characters who have a chance encounter in the bathroom of a shared house, flirting ensues followed by a date where they both have hidden agendas!
Featuring Matt Baxter & Katie-Anne Ray, who also directs.

‘Little Black Sandals’ by Philisiwe Twijnstra (aka Zulu Blue)

An intriguing story about the young Keketso and her relationship with Nkgono Penny, her Grandma and her surprising mother. It will take you into a very different world.
Read by Haseena Hans

‘The Scent of Christmas’ by Paul Smith

It’s Christmas morning, the turkey’s roasting, drinks are flowing and the jokes are flying. The family are about to open their presents and Gran’s given everyone her list, so she’s sure this year she’ll get just what she really wants!
Featuring: Anne Bennett, with Sharon, Paul, Lewis & Elysia Sully. Directed by Lynda Lewis.

‘Letters to Santa’ by Janea Dahl

An informal recording by members of the Talisman Youth Theatre. You’ll find out what our younger members would like from Santa, and listen to their discussions about all things Christmassy – they have some very interesting ideas!

‘A Favour’ by Max Porter

Video play – two men, one old, one young meet by chance. One is exercised by his past and the other is accepting of an uncertain future. They bond. And the outcome? Unpredictable.!
Featuring John Dawson and Henri West. Directed by John Dawson

‘Blue Christmas’ by Walter Wykes

It’s Christmas time in downtown Las Vegas, present day (minus Covid!). We meet a man dressed as Santa Claus along with all the colourful characters he comes into contact with that day! Please note this play contains adult language and themes.
Featuring Kevin Wing, Kim Arnold, Alistair Jolliffe, Stephen Smith and Rose Scott. Directed by Sally Jolliffe.

‘Fourteen’ by Alice Gerstenberg

Mrs Pringle, a fashionable New York socialite, is hosting a dinner party of fourteen guests, but a blizzard is putting her plans into disarray. Will fourteen sit down to dinner?
Performed by Julie Godfrey, Lauren McCann and Graham Buckingham-Underhill. Directed by Kathy Buckingham-Underhill.

‘Murder Before Midnight’ by Jeff Goode

A dusty, run-down motel on the edge of big city America. Dick Piston, hotel detective, sits at the reception desk counting down the minutes until he clocks off. Who is the mysterious woman that appears at reception claiming to be ‘a victim of murder’ and what about the bellhop?
Performed by Kenilworth School sixth form drama students Harry Weaver, Isobel Castledine & Charlie Butler. Directed by Craig Shelton.

‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ adapted by Mike McCluskey

The unnamed narrator describes the murder of an old man with “an eye like a vulture …an evil eye.” Listen as she endeavours to convince you of her sanity but is ultimately undone by her guilt.
Performed by Caroline & Mike McCluskey; Mike also adapted, recorded and produced the piece.

‘The Curse of Harrough Hall’ by Sam Harris

A spooky Halloween treat from Made in 48 Hours. There’s a room down the hall lit by candles, complete with a crackling fire. Its cosy and inviting. What do you do? Do you stay in the warm, not knowing who or what’s in the house with you, or do you take your chances outside in the pitch black and raging storm? ‘
Featuring Matt Baxter, James Harris, Dan Gough, Jo Gough, Emily Tuff and Katie-Anne Ray.
Due to the tense nature of this play we recommend it’s suitable for those aged 12+

‘The Boor’ by Anton Chekhov

A comedy set in Elena Popova’s drawing room exactly seven months after her husband’s death. She’s visited by Smirnov, a rude landowner, who is looking to collect a debt owed by her late husband. With her estate manager away, she cannot pay so he decides to camp in her salon!
Featuring Ruth Herd, John Spencer, Dave Crossfield, Steve Smith and Wendy Morris. Directed by Dave Crossfield.

‘Unlocked’ by Teresa Robertson

Set in hairdressing salon, welcoming back clients after the lockdown is lifted. When a new client takes salon owner Angela into her confidence, misunderstanding and mayhem follow!
Featuring Mary Dunn as Rachel, Sharon Sully as Sarah, Teresa Robertson as Angela and Paul Sully as Rob. Directed by Jane Yates.

‘The Nightingale and the Rose’ by Oscar Wilde

Maggie Brayshaw reads this story which begins with a young student lamenting in his garden because the love of his life will only dance with him at the ball if he brings her a red rose – but there’s no red rose in his garden.

Six Modern Monologues by Luke Harriott

Six interesting, clever, funny and very short monologues portray a different view on some real and fabled stories.
Featuring David Charlton, Chris Ives, Harry Bowser, Susanne Jackson-Maine, John Ellam and Ann Richards.

A 1920’s comedy double bill directed by Stephen Duckham

‘Private Wives’ by Barry Creyton

Two adjoining hotel balconies, two people on their respective honeymoons – not the scene one was expecting!  Featuring Julie-Ann Randall and Simon Moss

‘Early Mourning’ by Noel Coward

An early morning telephone call leads to confusion before the first martini!  Featuring Julie Godfrey and Wendy Morris.


The Selfish Giant – by Oscar Wilde


The children love to play in the garden by the castle. But the Giant who lives there has returned from his trip….and he doesn’t like sharing!
Read by Bill Wilkinson

‘The Field’ by Scott Cartwright

After running away from home, Leah has been living rough. Can Mark bring her back home?
Featuring Youth Theatre members Oliver and Heather, directed by Caroline McCluskey.

 

‘Heart’s Desire’ by Ali Kemp and Deborah Klayman

– is a gameshow presented by veteran presenter, Sally Sparkle, and the handsome younger Ade Aduba. Best friends, Jenny and Rachael, enter the gameshow but will they win their “Heart’s Desire”?
Featuring Nick Doughlin, Lucy Maxwell, Kelly Davidson & Sarah Young. Directed by Corrina Jacob.

‘Boom Room’ by Chrissy Evans

Technology is still a stranger to Adrian, a failed actor turned accountant and now retired. He’s trying to use a new video app to rekindle old friendships – much to the despair of his long-suffering wife!
Performed by Phil Reynolds, Lorna Spenser, Des McCann, Sally Jolliffe and Simon Moss. Directed by Stephen Duckham.

‘Mr Willoughby’ by Peter Lancaster Walker

Cynthia Bodkin, a reporter with the Daily Discord who writes articles on mysterious things, conducts an interview with Mr Augustus Willoughby, purported to be the local expert on alien abduction. Strange things unfold!
Featuring Cat McDonald as Cynthia and Jack Yardley as Mr Willoughby, directed by Penny Amis. This is a Side by Side production. They are a charitable organisation, involving adults with and without learning disabilities, which develops and produces inclusive theatre. To find out more go to www.sidebysidetheatre.co.uk 

‘The Happy Prince’ by Oscar Wilde

Wilde’s heart-warming and powerful story of friendship, loyalty, compassion, love and sacrifice, which he created, over one hundred years ago for his children.
Read by Jeremy Heynes

‘A Chance’ by Max Porter

Linda is going through a difficult phase in her life: new baby, lack of money, health problems – and now her partner hasn’t turned up at their secret meeting place – again. Has she found a sympathetic ear?
Featuring Anne Bennett and Fay Staton. Directed by Jill Laurie.
Please note: this play contains some strong language
This production is presented by arrangement with Smith Scripts

‘Box and Cox’ by John Maddison Morton – adapted and abridged by John Fenner

Set in Mrs Bouncer’s London boarding house, in a room with 3 doors, this is a zany farce.
Featuring: John Francis, John Nichols and Vicky Whitehill. Directed by Chris Carpenter.

‘Faces’ by Stephen Duckham

Set on the Yorkshire Moors and in the Italian countryside near Genoa…on a wild and stormy night an old farmer begins to tell a mysterious tale…

Featuring: Dawn Morris, Kelly Davidson, Wendy Morris, Steve Smith, Nick Doughlin, Phil Spencer & Martin Donaldson. Directed by Steve Smith.

‘A Break’ by Max Porter:

On a grassy hillside overlooking a housing estate, Joe is followed to a park bench by the aggressive Josh. Featuring Henri West and Dave Crossfield and directed by Dave Crossfield

Please note: This short play uses language from the start which some listeners may find offensive.

Answered Verse by Peter James (adapted by Craig Shelton)

Members of Kenilworth School’s Year 12 drama students explore an interesting concept; what happens when you take some of the worlds’ most famous poems and offer a repost.
Thanks to Rob Thompson for the sound recording and Dik Thacker for the final edit.

‘The Signalman’ by Charles Dickens

A short ghost story first published in 1866 which we’ve turned into a 15-minute play.
Featuring Michael Barker as The Signalman, Phil Reynolds as The Traveller, and Rod Wilkinson as The Engine Driver. Adaptation, direction and technical production by Phil Reynolds.

‘Acting the Part’ by Peter James

This week a dramatic piece exploring the trials and tribulations actors go through during the rehearsal process …

Featuring Christine Carpenter as Agatha and Katherine Buckingham as Beatrice. Directed by Graham Underhill.

‘Dragon, Cleolinda and George’ by Margaret Crompton.

So you think you know the REAL story behind ‘George and the Dragon’ eh? Think again! Our reporter gets the lowdown from the Dragon and Cleolinda – in person. No more false truths or silly speculation. ‘TRUE TRUTH’ magazine finds facts!
Featuring Tara Lacey, Julia Findlay and Julie-Ann Randell. Directed by Tara Lacey.

‘He Said She Said’ by Alice Gerstenberg:

Enid invites two friends, Mrs Packard and Diana, to dine with her and her husband Felix. However, upon arriving, Mrs Packard has a piece of gossip for Enid about Diane that threatens to ruin the night and to end friendships.

This play features four members of our Youth Theatre; Isaac, Claudia, Imogen and Alice.

A Thought by Max Porter

An interesting short play looking at the idea that  ‘not everything is as it seems’.

A vicar and a nun meet on a bench at a secluded local beauty spot – let’s see what happens next …

Rosemary Gowers directs Alice Scott and Craig Shelton. 

A Pleasure by Max Porter

A gentlemen enjoying the view from a park bench, is joined by a lady on her way home from the shops. They share a coffee and a chat. Just a chance encounter…or is it?

Cast: Bryan Ferriman as Clifford and Susi Walker as Stella, they’re directed by Vicky Whitehill.

Shakespeare Unlocked

Our artistic director Stephen Smith, accompanied by Wendy Smith share two choruses and a soliloquy from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and Hamlet

Kenilworth Kids in Wartime – a series of memories of war-time Kenilworth

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day the Talisman Theatre offer our own contribution. Peter James, a theatre member, wrote a book recording the childhood memories of ‘Kenilworth Kids’. We offer a few extracts to mark VE day.

Actors: David Charlton, Maggie Brayshaw and Rex Satchwell and youth group members Lauren McCann, Alfie Sully and Alais McCluskey.

A Plan – by Max Porter features Mick Ives as Kenny and Matt Baxter as Charlie who are planning a bank robbery.

Thank you to Smith Scripts for providing the play free of charge, waving the script and performance rights, all they asked was a contribution to the NHS, which we’ve given.   

 

 

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