Arundel Festival: companion plays from Stuart

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Stuart Smithers maintains his theatrical tradition of coming up with short plays for the Arundel Festival – this time two.

For the past five Arundel Festivals, the Arundel Players have performed Shortcuts at the Priory, a one-act play specially written by Stuart each year for the morning slot at the Priory Playhouse Theatre. This year (August 21 to 26) Stuart has come up with two companion pieces centred around two blocks of flats overlooking each other and what people see, or think they see, from their rear windows.

Windows 17 and Windows 17 Plus One can be seen individually or together. Although they cross-refer, each is a self-contained play in its own right. The plays need not be seen in any particular order and, while they may both be booked for the same morning, they can also be seen on separate days.

Directed by Muriel Carnegie, Windows 17 and Windows 17 Plus One are both performed by Stuart and Dawn Smithers. Intriguingly their roles in the first play are reversed in the second play.

Stuart said: “I don’t want to give too much away. Suffice to say the starting point of both plays is the reporting of a crime; different crime, same location.

“Both plays are distinctly tongue in cheek and I’ve included a lot of twists and turns intended to leave the audience guessing what will happen next.

“I’ve loved writing all the previous Shortcuts at the Priory. This year I decided to enter the realm of crime and mystery and found myself writing two short plays. It’s another new genre for me, and one which I have found great fun to work on”

Shortcuts at the Priory – Windows 17 and Windows 17 Plus One will be performed as part of the Arundel Festival from Monday, August 21 to Saturday, August 26 at The Priory Playhouse, London Road, Arundel, BN18 9FA. The first play will start at 10.15 a.m. After an interval, when refreshments will be available, the second play will start at 11.15am, concluding at around midday.

Tickets are £5 for each performance, but for those booking both plays, the discounted price for the two is £7.50. Tickets are available at the theatre on the morning of the performance.

As for the Arundel Players’ evening show, this year they bring Chess – The Musical to the stage. Featuring music by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and lyrics by Tim Rice, it will be directed by Felpham-based Kate Bennett at the Players’ Priory Playhouse from Saturday to Saturday, August 19 to 26.

The piece uses the game of chess as a metaphor for romantic rivalries and the US-Soviet rivalry during the Cold War.

More details on www.arundelplayers.org.uk.

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