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Psychic Connections

Philip Ayckbourn

25 Oct - 2 Nov 2019

Philip Ayckbourn

"The ghosts of our past have a story, but can they be believed?"


Director's Notes

In 1987 I went to watch one of the many bar shows at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in The Round in Scarborough: a Susan Hill novel, adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt, entitled The Woman in Black. With minimal set, props and cast and relying mainly on good storytelling to engage the audience’s imagination it gripped and entertained. No one had any idea of the success it would later achieve in the West End and beyond. Seeing the play planted the seed in me to want to one day delve into similar territory with my own writing… and many years later Psychic Connections was born. I knew when penning the initial draft of Psychic Connections that I wanted to write something that would not only chill and thrill by making use of theatre’s power to visually surprise and startle, but also to have a plot that could equally startle and surprise with some dramatic twists and turns. I felt the story needed to span a time period, perhaps from the Victorian age – always a good era for ghostly goings on – to the present day. Introducing the idea of reincarnation would allow the characters to be connected by a shared history – in a previous life. Their present circumstances and relationship to one another could be intrinsically influenced by choices and mistakes made in the past. It was obvious the character of a psychic medium was needed in order to facilitate their regressions and bring them face to face with their former selves. It was also clear to me that it had to be a woman, one step ahead of the others, but also with her own yet-to-be resolved issues and with a connection to the other characters, albeit not immediately apparent. At the heart of every good ghost story is a room or building that is the subject of supernatural occurrences and is very much a character in its own right. The Old Victorian School House in Cranleigh in Surrey – don’t Google it, it might not be there… then again it might – suggested itself as a suitable setting. A building – soon to be demolished – that once had a flourishing past, but has subsequently fallen into disrepair and is now a refuge for the occasional vagrant. No more will I give away… except to say I look forward to working with the lighting and sound team to create a suitable atmospheric accompaniment. It’s a joy once again to be bringing a new play to Lewes Little Theatre and I hope Psychic Connections will go on to enjoy many future productions – in the West End perhaps… and beyond.

Audition

Audition Sat 1 June 2019 10:30am foyer
Audition Sun 9 June 2019 10:30am foyer

Trisha – (Forties). A psychic medium. Friendly and chatty but with a mysterious, more serious and darker side to her.

Emily/Alice – (Twenties to thirties). Vulnerable and innocent for both characters, although has a feisty and determined streak when pushed. Fluctuates between RP and regional (London) accent.

Olivia – (Thirties to forties). Earnest and honest, but doesn’t suffer fools gladly – or Craig. Re­veals a vulnerable side when her guard is down.

Martha – (Thirties to forties). Malicious and scheming. Has the power to sweetly charm and deceive, but is easily angered when thwarted.

Craig – (Thirties to forties). A chancer and smooth-talker who’s in it for the money and hides a darker more brutal aspect to his person­ality – just about.

Benjamin – (Thirties to forties). An upright, well meaning, Victorian school teacher who is led into temptation and wrongdoing by Martha and his own unchecked passions.

Please visit www.philipayckbourn.com for more information and the play text.