© Redlynch Players 2017
Guy (Lloyd Perry) who, while in his shy phase, ends up working in the Complaints Department for the fictional Chingford Borough Council. His particular challenge is to manage the persistent complainer, Mr Roth (Mark Newman), and all his gripes. He succeeds in the role simply because he automates the entire process to avoid having to speak to anyone. While there, he meets and falls for the idealistic Emily (Anna McBride). Meeting and eventually speaking to Emily, coupled with the death of his mother, forces Guy into standing up for himself. This earns him a promotion from his talkative boss, Stevenson (Mark Everett), whose sole goal is cost-cutting. Guy is quite effective in that way.
Guy's new-found confidence results in him becoming the mouthpiece of numerous causes, and to maintain his pre-eminent oratory role, he starts studying the techniques of historic figures – from Thatcher to Enoch Powell, from Churchill to Hitler. The problem is that in his quest to discover a voice, he loses track of his conscience and speaks passionately on a number of unpalatable subjects. In doing so he is dumped by Emily. This punctures his confidence bubble and puts him back to square one....
This was a genuine piece of work, with the set as a radio studio. This allowed the actors the luxury of reading from their scripts, although there were a number of intelligent elements of a more conventional stage play, including lighting and sound effects. The advantage of this was that there were no missed lines, but the disadvantage was that very occasionally, the script-reading interfered slightly with the need for minor roles to put the full emotion into their spoken words. It was nonetheless clear that all the leads knew their dialogue, no matter that they were holding the script in their hands.
A lovely, relaxed, but nonetheless professional production. I am very much looking forward to their next few, including next year's première for which this event was a fundraiser.
A special message from Andrew Viner, the writer of Speechless
Congratulations on your production of my radio play, Speechless. It was inventively staged, with strong performances, particularly in the demanding lead role. Kudos also for the many lighting cues and sound effects, which really tied a complicated production together. It was lovely to hear an audience's response to it, and also to have an outing for the bits we had to leave on the BBC cutting room floor. I was very impressed by the high standard of the production.'