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Murder at Checkmate Manor

posted 4 Mar 2013, 03:20 by Cerney Players

South Cerney Players will be presenting "Murder at Checkmate Manor" over four nights from 15th to 18th May 2013 in the Village Hall, South Cerney. Rehearsals are under-way and announcements will be made on the website and notice-board posters when tickets are available - through our usual Box Office - South Cerney News - aka the Post Office.


The four ladies of The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society (F.A.H.E.T.G.D.S.) are a force to be reckoned with. The sheer scale of their ambition in mounting "Murder at Checkmate Manor", is only matched by their overwhelming confidence in their abilities to master all fourteen parts.

Even though Gordon, their stage manager, nobly steps into the breach at the last minute, their production is blighted by a series of disasters. The curse of AmDram strikes…. The scenery falls down, sound effects add a strange note, cues are missed and those quick changes are just too slow. Through this adversity the ladies soldier on, determined to provide a good evening out for their audience (which also includes a Film and Fashion Show and Murder Mystery Quiz - complete with prize), but reveal more about the relationships between themselves than the plot.

The play is set in the drawing room of Checkmate Manor. The family gathers for the reading of the will of the late Sir Reginald Bishop. However, someone else has designs on the Checkmate millions, and will stop at nothing to get them. A string of grisly murders ensues, where everyone has a motive and everyone is a suspect in a classic whodunit farce. The crunch comes in the final denouement when the murderer is about to be revealed luckily Mrs Reece, doyenne of the group, can be relied on to save the day with a final twist to the plot.

David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr. have written 10 Farndale plays starting in 1976 with the ladies' version of "Macbeth" for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which was performed by The South Cerney Players in 2002. This murder mystery is the third of the F.A.H.E.T.G. series and premiered in 1980 and the Farndale ladies are known and loved worldwide. For four nights in May, the South Cerney Players become the FAHETG Dramatic Society!