“I don’t think I can do this. I can’t remember any of my lines. I’m going to have a panic attack and die in the middle of the prawn cocktail and everyone will think it’s part of the plot and make notes on my demise” I can feel my palms sweating profusely and my heart beating rapidly through my pensioners nylon ensemble.
My husband, resplendent in his bright pink shirt and wonky blonde wig shrugs his shoulders at me in a ‘bit bloody late now’ gesture and pushes me aside to march out into the crowd to deliver his first line with gay abandon. Appreciative audience laughter cascades around my ears and I look nervously at the other actors who are standing stock still, awaiting their cue lines which force them into animatIon. We’re not standing on a stage, we’re in the middle of a restaurant with thespians sat shoulder to shoulder with budding sleuths and someone is about to get murdered.
6 months earlier…
“If you want to write a bloody murder mystery then just do it! I know nothing about them, I’ve never even been to one. Who’d even be in it? Is there anyone with any talent even left here post Brexit? Did you eat the last of the mature cheddar?”
My husband is sat listening to my rant with his ancient laptop in hand. He looks like he’s mentally performing and extremely difficult mathematical equation. Lips are pursed and I can feel his inner Joan Crawford about to erupt.
“Ok I will then!” He shouts at no one in particular and sashays out onto the balcony and slams the sliding door.
Brian (the ever hopeful) instantly pricks up his ears just in case the argument involves chicken, walkies or digestives but reluctantly returns to his slumber when none of these are forthcoming.
I slump into the sofa and petulantly pick at a stray bobble on my dressing gown. Looking down at my expanding waistline I realise that google lied about the Mediterranean diet being good for you as most of the people in our Spanish block appeared to exist quite happily on a combination of Mama kebab and Cruzcampo. Switching the tv on I try and lose myself in an authentic Spanish drama (I’m lying, it’s loose women) whilst trying to sneak peeks at what Miss Marple is penning outdoors without trying to look too obvious that I’m interested.
Several hours later (and may I say with a slightly over dramatic flourish) the door is flung open I am called forth to read the initial manuscript for ‘Spotlight on Murder’. Preparing myself for the argument that would no doubt be forthcoming I’m instantly taken aback by the complexity and detail of his script and the back stories of each murder suspect. I have to keep returning to the who did what and where and why and how. On the whole it was really rather good! On the negative side the scripted section of the play was slightly lacking in humour for my liking but as I broached this subject to my husband he puffed up his chest and proclaimed “not everything has to have a punchline Paula” and removed the laptop from my hands and retreated into the kitchen with the hairy hound bringing up the rear.
In bed that night we both lie awake, looking into the darkness for the answers of how to go from page to stage. I feel his fears, putting your words in front of a critical audience is like standing naked in front of a row of supermodels and asking them to point out all your flaws. Thankfully he has me and my truth Tourette’s to do that for him so I empty the silence with my honesty.
“It actually is good Marcus, I didn’t expect it to be but it really is. It will be a brillant alternative to the over indulged tribute acts that dominate the coast and we can perform in any venue, restaurant or bar as we don’t need a music licence. Have you thought who we can ask to be in it? Mijas isn’t exactly crawling with west end candidates”
Silence permeates the room as I await his opinion. Maybe my spouse actually is asleep and i’ve wasted several minutes talking to myself which every married woman knows contributes to 90% of the conversations she has with her husband anyway
A sleepy voice echoes in the darkness
“Ok, you can add some comedy but I don’t want Benny Hill running round the restaurant with his milk float. It’s not what a murder mystery is about; and I think you’d be better at directing it as you’re bossier than me. Night night”
I smile to myself and turn my bedside fan on. The Croft Originals have arrived.