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.)
2. Mystery Supper
Linda Fairclough emailed her apologies only hours before last night’s mystery supper. Her part was small but essential to the narrative and had to be quickly rewritten for a male (Duncan Forrester being the only Player available to step in at short notice.)
The evening was further spoiled by the behaviour of guests, several of whom seemed belligerently drunk from the outset. Carol Filbert and Rhona Hill were crudely propositioned and Bruce Lindsay demoralised by renditions of ‘Lip Up, Fatty’ and ‘Who Ate All the Pies?’
The worst indignity, though, was suffered by Peter Duguid on whom one burly guest inflicted a ‘citizen’s arrest’, a ‘playful’ assault that necessitated the attention of the Grange’s first aid officer (a prolonged interval by the conclusion of which all but two of the audience had drifted into the bar.)
C.P. has suggested that Rhona’s boyfriend, a student of Ju-Jitsu, be asked to attend future events; the Grange will, naturally, be asked to cover the additional cost.
3. Nina Kelly
Paul Pettigrew has agreed to represent the company at the funeral of Nina Kelly, an actress who was active throughout what must now be regarded as ‘the Golden Era’ of Soon Comes Night. Nina is best remembered as Rochelle Elder in House of Dalrymple – a femme fatale who unravelled as her dream journal prosephied her family’s destruction.
Sadly, Nina’s obituaries have focused on a real-life drama enacted in the bathroom of a well-known television director: rebuffed by her host (on whom she’d formed a fixation), Nina consumed the contents of his medicine cabinet, a gaffe compounded by the fact that his young children were queuing outside, waiting patiently to brush their teeth.