Jubliee and murder - a typical day a Stanley Halls
The Queen is celebrating her diamond jubilee, much of the Commonwealth is marking the moment and throughout Croydon and Norwood loyal subjects are planning street parties and celebrations.
Sound familiar? It could be the present day but a new musical staged next month takes us 115 years into the past to Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee.
Murder at the Stanley Halls is the debut work of writer James Graham, who has produced a musical play especially for the St Mark’s Players in the actual Stanley Halls, combining Jubilee celebrations with, murder, intrigue and even a talent contest.
Graham says: “I have always enjoyed the Victorian melodrama style of evil villains, heroic chaps and pretty ladies put into danger until they are rescued from the jaws of death.
“My son joined the Players last year and there was a request for new scripts for a summer show from producer Pete Waterhouse. I thought this might be an opportunity to put a script forward.”
Graham, a freelance journalist, normally spends his time writing articles for magazines and newspapers, and enjoyed the chance of writing material for the stage.
He says: “Writing for the stage has definitely not been like my day job. I have enjoyed it very much and the Players are a great group of actors who have worked with me to polish my script and suggest alternatives that I have mainly taken on board.
“I would say to anyone thinking of producing a script to just do it. A great group such as the Players will help polish and improve any script they work with.”
As for the plot, he doesn’t want to give anything away except to say there is a villain called De Ath, Eric Cantona makes an appearance, there are two murders and mayhem rules.
q Murder at the Stanley Halls, Stanley Halls, South Norwood Hill SE25, Friday June 15, 7.30pm and Saturday, June 16 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are £11 with dinner, £8 without. Call 020 7193 3495 or 07801 556713 for information.