Soon Comes Night, The Mystery Theatre Players of Central Scotland, Guest performers include Donald Pleasence, Jean Seberg, Herbert Lom, Ivor Novello, Robert Morley, Harry Andrews, Terry Thomas, Anthony Blunt, Roland Young, Grace Kelly

1. Auditions

Several actors attended last month’s open auditions. After a week’s deliberation, Gilbert Taylor and Rebecca Munn have been invited to join the company.

Mr Taylor is recognised as a (very capable) light comedian, though I.G. thinks him capable of more challenging parts. Miss Munn, who has previously performed with groups in Greenock and Paisley, can play a femme fatale, but is most effective in a ‘harridan’ type role.


E.B. has received an (unsigned) letter in which allegations are enumerated about the circumstances of Mr Taylor’s departure from the Drumfeld Players. According to the author, Taylor’s time at the group was marred by a succession of feuds (with male colleagues) and unwanted advances (toward females).

I.G. suspects that the letter was written by ____ _______, an actor whose own ambitions to join the company were undone by a ‘risibly poor’ audition. Confronted with the allegations, Gilbert Taylor has acknowledged errors from which he has learned significant life lessons. Furthermore, he has offered reassurance as to his future good conduct.

2. Murders at the Grange

Colin Pender has negotiated a contract with Jim McCulloch, manager of the Grange Hotel: Murder at the Grange, a monthly event at which guests will enjoy a three course meal complemented by a murder investigation enacted by the Mystery Theatre Players.

C.P. suggests that mysteries might be concocted with Ironside Gemmell’s Plot Generator, a system of indexed cards designed to match disparate characters and propel them toward crisis. (This was last used for Armchair Detective, a mystery series that encouraged the participation of listeners. While some episodes are fondly remembered, E.B. cautions that the Plot Generator’s outcomes were often anti-climactic and occasionally nonsensical.)


Members of the committee are perturbed by the request that a role be found for Francis Kemp, the Lomond Sound D.J. who enjoys a professional relationship with the hotel. Mr McCulloch suggests that Kemp might act as a narrator or master of ceremonies.

I.G. suggests that he has already written a role in which Kemp might excel: “Philip Kendall – a social climbing bigamist who refers to himself as yours truly and pesters single women in restaurants…”

3. Gus Barbour

Gus Barbour – Lomond Sound’s breakfast show host – has been appointed to the station’s committee, apparently as Chief Operating Officer.

This, suggests E.B., augurs ill for the future of Midwitch (the Soon Comes Night produced ‘soap’ in which many of the station’s presenters appear as exaggerated versions of themselves.)

Barbour has nurtured a long-standing resentment about his depiction as a vapid but self-important nonentity, obsessed by home-baking and Dr Who. He now chairs weekly meetings the agendas of which, according to reports, are dominated by developments at Midwitch.

P.P. insists that our current dependency on Lomond Sound’s goodwill dictates the necessity of compromise. He is particularly concerned by the station’s burgeoning relationship with the Cutting Edge Group: last week its members descended on the studio to participate in an Armistice Day commemoration (a series of sketches that concluded with the lighting of candles and a rendition of ‘Where Have All The Flowers Gone?’)

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