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Audition Notice – Sunday 3rd September 1.30pm – Stables Theatre

The Scattering: by Dave Goble

For a rehearsed reading at the theatre on Sunday 15th October 2023

Please contact Harry Wells for an audition slot


When much-loved Grandad Jim Harvey dies in an unfortunate fishing accident in the River Severn, it has significant repercussions, not only for shipping in the Bristol Channel, but also for the hole it left behind in his family.

After a couple of years of sitting safely in an urn on his wife Cynthia’s sideboard, it now finally seems as though the time is right to have a formal scattering of Jim’s ashes. But where? Surely not the snug in Spotted Cow where he and Cynthia enjoyed so many cosy evenings – especially if it was anywhere near the sandwiches!

Robert, Jim’s son, along with the rest of the family, all receive the same slightly ambiguous letter from Cynthia, inviting them to what they assume will be the ‘Big Day of Scattering’, which they all begin to prepare for in earnest -writing speeches, dry-cleaning suits and preparing a fish-free buffet for the event.

In other news though, there’s trouble down at Grandad Jim’s old allotment. Despite the best efforts of Jim’s friends Stanley and Betty, a new bunch of allotmenteers have taken over the dead man’s plot and they don’t seem remotely interested in horticulture… in fact, they’ve installed a jacuzzi! Well, what do you expect from ‘up-from-London’
types?! And although there’s not much that anyone can do, the
desecration of Jim’s allotment is casting a long shadow over the impending scattering – “What if mum intends to scatter dad up the allotment and he ends up floating in that bloody jacuzzi?!”

As the big day approaches, the family’s ranks are swelled by the arrival of Robert’s half-sister Reenie, who has finally bitten the bullet and left her ‘waste of skin’ husband Colin, after an unsavoury incident involving a bowl of cock-a-leekie soup.

So, will the scattering go as planned? Will the family finally be able to lay Grandad to rest? And will the London-dwelling allotment invaders bugger off from whence they came, or stay and ruin Jim’s final goodbye?…

Cast of Characters

Jim Harvey – Deceased. In the urn on the sideboard and
pretty much everywhere else.

Cynthia Harvey – In her early 80s (Jim’s Widow) Keeps the good brandy at the back of the cupboard and away from guests

Robert Harvey – In his 50s (Jim & Cynthia’s Son) Enjoys maintaining his independence by repeatedly placing his socks in the draw allocated by his wife Susan, for his underpants

Susan Harvey – In her 50s (Married to Robert) Once purchased a Post Code lottery ticket, forgetting she’d moved.

William Harvey – In his early 20s (Robert & Susan’s Son) A political student and because of his close resemblance to Andres de Santa Cruz (one time president of Bolivia) He is known as William theBolivian, by his fellow students

Annabel Taylor – In her early 20s (William’s girlfriend) A very shy, retiring girl, says she first attracted William’s attention at a Uni dance by standing on a table and throwing her bra at him.

Reenie Thompson – In her mid-50s (Robert’s half-sister) She embraces to concept of marriage, but struggled with the fidelity requirements of the commitment. Once had an affair with Des O’Connor (or so she says)

Betty Jenkins – In her early 70s (One-time allotment colleague of deceased Jim, now firm friend of his widow Cynthia) Once grew the second heaviest turnip at last year’s Bromsgrove Agricultural Show. Made the judges cut open the winning turnip to check someone hadn’t put a rock inside it.

Stanley Oswald – In his late 70s (Good friend of fellow gardener Betty, and of course in days gone past, dear Jim) Grew the heaviest turnip – didn’t speak to Betty for weeks.

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