THE STAGE CLUB
by N.J. Crisp.
Directed by Bob Corwin
How much of a thrill can you get with only a cast of three? and how many twists and turns can a plot take to confuse us? Well – this play does it pretty well.
The action all takes place in the conservatory of Mark & Sally Driscoll’s wealthy home. A stranger, John Barratt has been watching Sally as she comes in from the garden and tends the plants in the conservatory. He knocks on the window and Sally lets him in when she realizes that they had met at a business function. When Mark comes home from work he and Sally think that John is here to talk about a business proposition. They do not notice the clever way that John seals off the conservatory but the audience do. John’s wife has recently been involved in a car accident and he seems devastated, gaining Sally’s sympathy but Mark’s patience is running out. He finally asks John to leave. Sally hands John his ‘rather heavy’ briefcase. John pulls out a gun. Shots are fired. Sally and Mark are scared witless. What on earth is John really here for? The audience will have to wait until Act 2 to find out and there are many more twist and turns to come before John’s real purpose is revealed.
Dangerous Obsession is a psycho-thriller written by N J Crisp in the mid 80′s and is generally acknowledged to have been his finest. It enjoys frequent revivals and tours in the UK. It has tension, shocks and twists that keep the audience engaged to the last.
It is the start of the play, Sally has been outside sunbathing in the fine late afternoon weather. She walks in to her conservatory and tends to some plants She is unaware that she is being watched. The voyeur is John Barratt who finally knocks on the door….Stephanie doesn’t recognise John at all and feels more than a little vulnerable given that she is only wearing a bathing costume but she has a well protected house and reaches for the “panic button” to summon the police. John cleverly lets Sally talk herself in to thinking he is there to discuss a business proposition with her Husband Mark who “is due home any moment”…….but John Barratt’s purpose is far more sinister than a business chat with Mark. When Mark arrives home John begins his agenda in earnest. Mark and Sally’s Friday evening plans are replaced by a nightmare they’ll never forget.