Matters Arising

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Soon Comes Night, The Mystery Theatre Players of Central Scotland, Guest performers include Robert Morley, Roland Young, Margaret Rutherford, Vera Clouzot, Robert Mitchum, Terry-Thomas, Grace Kelly, Hayley Mills, Gene Tierney, Robert Morley

1. Reprobate

Gilbert Taylor, a recent recruit from the Drumfeld Players, continues to impress: in tonight’s recording, The Skulking Menace, he plays two characters: Colin Cruikshank, the blackmailer, and Craig Paterson, his hapless victim.

This improvisation has been necessitated by Duncan Forrester’s withdrawal from the Cruikshank role, an inconvenience attributed to the over-bearing influence of his mother: Mrs Forrester is troubled, apparently, by the frequency with which her son is being cast as a reprobate.

E.B. complains that Mrs Forrester’s opinions are becoming increasingly bothersome; last month she intervened to establish ‘sensible boundaries’ for a scene in which listeners might assume that a character played by Duncan was naked. (On that occasion the scene was rewritten in order that someone could admire his pyjamas.)

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Soon Comes Night, The Mystery Theatre Players of Central Scotland, Guest performers include Terry Thomas, John le Mesurier, Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Jean Seberg, Joyce Grenfell, Robert Morley, Roland Young, Grace Kelly

1. S.P.R. Investigation

Rehearsals have been disrupted by investigators from the Society for Psychical Research. Their interest has been piqued by Rupert Dawes’ claim – disseminated on social media – that his modified microphones have captured ‘Ghost Voices’ in empty rooms.

For the most part, the voices are muttered and indistinct, though one obscure phrase stands out: “Don’t stand too close to the pipes,” followed by a snort of stifled laughter. After a long pause, a woman can be heard sobbing – this voice has been identified by several listeners as belonging to Barbara Craig, an actress who was associated with the company in the 1970’s.

P.P. insists that the recordings are almost certainly out-takes from the Soon Comes Night archive. In perpetrating such a deception, it’s possible that Dawes is trying to generate publicity for the company, though R.S. suspects that he might be trying to find a girl-friend. Certainly, he seems particularly attentive to Megan Ross, the S.P.R.’s extravagantly tattooed chief investigator.

Whatever Dawes’ motivation, the investigation is becoming a nuisance: several members of the company are spooked with both Elaine Wishart and Gavin Price refusing to attend recent rehearsals, the latter citing a fear of possession, apparently prompted by a conversation with Ms Ross.

(Interestingly, this scenario was anticipated by ‘Unseen’, an episode of House of Dalrymple in which Conrad attracted the attention of a poltergeist while experimenting with a Ouija Board.)