Midsummer Mink

by Peter Coke
May 13, 14 and 15, 2004
Directed by Ann Westcott
Production and set design by Alan Watson.
Stage Manager, Geoff Stretton
Lighting by Tom Gwilliam,Charlie Manton and Jonathan Partridge
Scenery by Judith Watson and Sue McRoberts
Properties by Don and Margaret Hussey

Dame Beatrice Appleby and her little band of eccentric paying guests spend much of their time collecting for charity, in order to ease the plight of impoverished gentlefolk. Sadly, there is never enough money to do all that they would wish. The appearance of a mysterious parcel, and it's distinctly dodgy owner, leads to a partnership in crime and loads of money.

stage left view of the set for Midsummer Mink. The action of the play takes place in the drawing room of Dame Appleby's flat near the Albert Hall in London
Box set, with double doors UC to the hallway.
Fireplace with stove SR
Door DSR to a bedroom.
Bay window USL

Brigadier Rayne (Mick Hawes) organises the charity collections with military precision. Dame Beatrice and the other paying guests have been out all afternoon collecting in the pouring rain.

Lady Alice (Sonia Hawes) arrives home somewhat damp; she has not had a good day.
Brigadier Rayne and Lady Alice
Dame Beatrice arrives home Dame Beatrice and friends find that the parcel contains a mink jacket The maid's new boyfriend, a policeman

Soon after, Miss Hatfield (Alison Smith), Dame Beatrice(Sally Stretton) and Miss Parry (Angela Danks) arrive home.

A mysterious parcel is left outside the flat. When they open it, they find that it contains a mink jacket, quite possibly stolen from a rich neighbour.

The arrival of their maid Lily and her new boyfriend, Ted, a policeman (Ann Goodman and Paul Hammond) causes panic. The suspect mink is stowed in the ottoman.
The mysterious Mr Hicks

The owner of the parcel arrives, Mr Hicks (Mike Jackson). The ladies soon find out that it is he who has stolen the jacket from the nearby flat and that his real name is Michael Hogan

They trick him into buying the fur back for 50.
Miss Parry impersonates Mrs Spanager
Dame Beatrice decides to fence stolen furs

Dame Beatrice enters into an arrangement with Michael Hogan. He will steal furs and she will buy them from him and resell. The profits will go to charity.

Far from being horrified, her little group is quite excited by the prospect of setting up as fences.

the planning breakfast Chris, seller of stolen furs.
The weekly planning breakfast, and the group await another source of stolen goods. Chris (Don Hussey), a contact of Brigadier Rayne's, masquerades as a Hoover salesman to smuggle furs out of the flat.
Michael Hogan brings some more goods for resale

Michael Hogan warns that his latest item has become particularly hot. In a panic to get rid of it, the ladies disguise themselves and go through a complicated plan to sell the fur.

They succeed beyond their wildest dreams, for Madame Chambert (Judith Watson) is quite willing to sell as many furs as the ladies can provide.
Madame Chambert comes to view the flat
Michael Hogan has a new super deal

Dame Beatrice and the Brigadier are just about to set off for a charity gala at the Albert Hall when Mike Hogan arrives. He has six wonderful furs unexpectedly available, but they must be delivered at once.

The furs are hidden in the cases of musical instruments. Dame Beatrice realises to her horror that the stolen furs were to have been part of the charity gala. A charity that is dear to her heart.

Miss Parry carries in the instrument cases containing stolen furs Dame Beatrice and Lady Alice dressed to return the furs

A plan is made to return the furs before they are missed. The ladies dress up in borrowed finery and walk over to the gala wearing the stolen furs.

Lily has borrowed a fur without permission Inspector Wilson arrives looking for the missing fur
To add to the complications, there is one more fur than there should be in the ottoman. Lily confesses that she has borrowed it to impress Ted. Unfortunately, it has been reported stolen and Lily is the prime suspect. Inspector Wilson (Alan Watson) arrives, in search of the missing jacket.
Alice is full of apprehension Dame Beatrice finds some jewels

Another of Miss Parry's complicated plans gets Lily off the hook and the fur restored to its owner, but the group have had a bad fright.They vow to give up fencing difficult and bulky furs, although it means an end to their generous gifts to the less fortunate.

On retrieving her whisky from the grandfather clock, where it is hidden to keep it away from Lily, Dame Beatrice discovers an unexpected cache of stolen jewelry. They decide that it must have been abandoned by a recent intruder, disturbed by Miss Hatfield. A new and more easily handled source of cash suggests itself.

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Copyright © 2002. EydonPlayers
Revised --October 2011 Version 10b
URL: http://www.eydonplayers.co.uk/mink/