‘Banned’ by the BBC But Filmed For Streaming

Staff Reporter (26 January, 2021)

Peter Barnes’ monologues have all the qualities of his plays— all the passion, wit, anger and compassion- condensed into urgent 20 minutes

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Original Theatre Company and Perfectly Normal Productions present the first revival of Barnes’ People, a series of four theatrical monologues starring Jon Culshaw, Matthew Kelly, Jemma Redgrave and Adrian Scarborough and directed by Philip Franks and Charlotte Peters.  

From writer Peter Barnes (The Ruling Class) comes a selection of four exquisitely crafted monologues, performed by four of our leading actors and filmed on stage at the Theatre Royal Windsor.

Billy & Me starring Jon Culshaw. Directed by Charlotte Peters

For Michael Jennings, the only way to fight the voices in his head is to bring them to life. In fact he’s made a career from it.  Now, seemingly alone on an empty stage, Billy, his stage partner of 25 years, keeps interrupting him.  Which would be fine, except that Billy is a puppet.  Billy and Me is a hilarious and daring examination exploring what happens when a ventriloquist lets the puppets take control.

Losing Myself starring Matthew Kelly. Directed by Philip Franks

Adams used to have everything, with the world at his feet.  Now he’s lost his faith… and his rocking horse.  On a solitary bench within the hallowed confines of one of London’s forgotten churchyards, Adams sits on a bench for his final conversation with an old friend.  With poignancy and profundity he must come to terms with who he has become and where he is going, but it’s going to rain and the bulldozers are moving in.

Rosa starring Jemma Redgrave. Directed by Philip Franks

Dr Rosa Hamilton is tired.  After twenty years of battling the system, drowning in paperwork and watching patients fade away in care homes, she’s tired, she’s angry and she really wants a drink.  Especially as she’s about to dictate the most important letter of her life.

True Born Englishman starring Adrian Scarborough. Directed by Philip Franks

Leslie has been a footman at Buckingham Palace for thirty years.  A life of service, a life of discretion and a lifetime of secrets.  Originally banned from broadcast by the BBC and never seen before, this world premiere takes you behind the scenes of the most famous of royal palaces for an unforgettable audience with a true born Englishman. Co-producer David Morley of Perfectly Normal Productions said this was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 as part of More Barnes’ People, but when the production team referred the script to higher management, they decided not to go ahead.  Peter Barnes described this as ‘banning’ the play, because of its Royal Family theme, which the BBC denied.”

Philip Franks says, “Peter Barnes’ monologues have all the qualities of his plays— all the passion, wit, anger and compassion- condensed into urgent 20 minute plays. They feel like they could have been written yesterday.”

Dates: 18 February – 31 July 2021. Tickets: Early Bird (when purchased by 16 February 2021)

Individual monologue; Standard – £7.50; With programme – £10; Package of 4 monologues; Standard – £20 (£5 each); Premium Package – £100 (signed script by a creative team member of your choice and a credit on the final films)

Supporter Package – £40 (programme and credit on the final films)

Book: originaltheatreonline.com 

Prices rise after February 16th

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