‘Write a comedy script for a sketch in 3 pages.’
The winning entry was performed by members of the Chesil Theatre Group.
Cecily O’Neill, a renowned authority in Drama in Education was the adjudicator for the May competition. Cecily has worked with students, teachers, directors, and actors throughout the world; leading drama workshops, speaking at conferences, and carrying out research. She said that the task of writing a comedy script was a particularly difficult one but the Hampshire Writers had risen to the challenge.
1st Place: Paul King, PTFE
“You have taken a typical comedy format, where one actor is the straight man and the other delivers the funny lines. But within this framework you’ve cleverly subverted the stereotype of the elderly countrywoman and created an amusing sketch.”
2nd Place: David Lea, Taking Stock
“Within the tight three-page limit of the brief you managed to draw us into the concerns of the young couple and you achieved this as much by what was left unsaid as by the dialogue. You have allowed the comedy to develop gradually and provided an effective and believable denouement.”
3rd Place: Nikki Wakefield, Coming Out
“This sketch is full of lively dialogue and comic misunderstandings. The gradual build up of frustration is very well handled, and the cheerful acceptance by the parents of their son’s unorthodox lifestyle provides an unexpected and pleasing conclusion.”
Highly Commended: Karin Groves, Billy the Banker
“An amusing and topical take on the economy. A comedy of contrasts as 10 year old Billy demands to be taken seriously.”
Highly Commended: Celia Livesey, Three’s a Crowd
“The relationship of the sisters is clearly displayed in the subtle insults they exchange at their mother’s funeral. They get their come-uppance in a surprise ending.”
The prizes were signed copies of David Nobbs’s books and a Certificate of Adjudication from Cecily O’Neill. The winning entry was performed by Mary Mitchell and Norma York of the Chesil Theatre Group, much to the delight of the audience.
1st Place: PTFE – Copyright © Paul King, 2015
On stage – two ‘older women. They speak with slow, west-country accents. Throughout the scene, using a tea set and plates: tea is poured, stirred and drunk: biscuits and cakes are offered, taken and eaten. Music to top and tail the sketch; something English and rural, like the older version of the ‘Archers’ theme for example.
Music to establish the scene then it fades.
Woman 1: Cup’a’tea?
Woman 2: Don’t mind if I do.
Woman 1: Biscuit?
Woman 2: Don’t mind if I do. (Pause) P.T.F.E!
Woman 1: They be ginger nuts, baked ‘em myself.
Woman 2: No! … P.T.F.E!!!
Woman 1: What?
Woman 2: It’s the black stuff on the bottom of your frying pan.
Woman 1: There b’aint be no black stuff on the bottom of my frying pan thank you very much! I use they Brillo pads.
Woman 2: No, it’s s’posed to be there.
Woman 1: Well it might be s’posed to be on the bottom of yourn but it’s not s’posed to be on the bottom of mine.
Woman 2: No, it’s the non-sticky stuff.
Woman 1: Definitely not my pans!
Woman 2: No… it’s on all of ‘em!
Woman 1: I bet the Vim gets it off; that’ll shift anything.
Woman 2: It’s compulsory: if you got a frying pan you’ve got to have the PTFE. They do call it a ‘non … stick … coating’.
Woman 1: They do?
Woman 2: Listen to this … poly … tetra … fluoro … ethylene.
Woman 1: What’s that then?
Woman 2: Polytetrafluoroethylene.
Woman 1: You’ve been practicing that.
Woman 2: That’s what they do call the black stuff on your frying pan.
Woman 1: How’d you know that then?
Woman 2: I googled it!
Woman 1: You googled it?!
Woman 2: I did!
Woman 1: What made you do a thing like that then?
Woman 2: Well, thing is, I be downsizing … getting a smaller frying pan like.
Woman 1: Your Peggy could do wi’ some ‘o’ that downsizing ‘n’all.
Low fat fairy cake?
(After a pause Woman 2 takes a cake. There is another pause.)
Woman 2: So … I goes on-line and I finds a frying pan that suits my purposes.
Woman 1: Couldn’t you a just popped down Lakelands?
Woman 2: No; I wanted to exercise my rights as a consumer … make a choice like, from the best available.
Woman 1: Why’d you do that, then?
Woman 2: I be a fan of that programme off the telly, that ‘Watchdog’. You watch it?
Woman 1: No.
Woman 2: Oh you should. I learnt all about exercising my rights as a consumer and making a choice from the best available off that ‘Watchdog’.
Woman 1: I always thought it were about pet training.
Woman 2: So … after due deliberation and intensive comparison, I saw this one frying pan that do seem to fit all the criteria; one that were the best value for size, weight and the durability. I read all the reviews, you’m have to do that these days. Everyone does it.
Woman 1: Do they indeed? Fancy that.
Woman 2: So anyway, I read that it had a … ‘non-stick coating’! Well I was curious I don’t mind telling you. What’s a non-stick coating, I says to myself? And is it something I wants to be party to? So that’s when I did the googling; I looked it up on that there Wikipedia. ‘Non-stick is often used to refer to surfaces coated with polytetrafluoroethylene … P.T.F.E.
Woman 1: You learnt that off by heart as well didn’t you?
Woman 2: I likes to expand the horizons of my knowledge and add to my vocabulary whenever possible.
Woman 1: Right.
Woman 2: Have you got one of they computers, then?
Woman 1: Oh yes, I got a computer.
Woman 2: What you got then?
Woman 1: I got a Macbook pro with fourth-generation dual-core and quad-core Intel processors! It’s got that Wi-Fi and Thunderbolt 2.
Woman 2: That that sounds very nice.
Woman 1: They do say it be … ‘state of the art’!
Woman 2: Do they indeed?!
Woman 1: They do.
Woman 2: What’s that mean then?
Woman 1: Don’t rightly know … but I do finds it very good for the porn.
Woman 2: Oh … you use that porn then?!
Woman 1: Well I gotta do somethin’ ent I … what with my Albert passing over and that … thing is … my imagination’s not what it used to be. (Pause. She offers another plate of biscuits.) Ladyfinger?
The competition secretary, Jim Livesey, thanked everyone who had entered the competition. It had been a good turnout with 16 entries.