Author, Andy Harris, discusses the final part of his “Pandemic Triology”.
“Annie” is final instalment of the Pandemic Stories series. In this episode Hannah Studd reprises her role as feisty old great-grandma, Annie, who we first encountered in the second episode, “Tina and Tom“. In another great performance, Hannah (who is actually only 29!) we see how Annie is affected by the lockdown in her care home. This, again, reflects some of what went on at that time in the lockdown and the difficulties with relatives getting any sort of contact with their loved ones.
With the character of “Annie” performing a monologue for most of the time, this could almost have been a “Talking Heads” play in the style of Alan Bennett – not that I would compare in any way with the quality or content of his!
As well as Hannah, other cast members repeating their roles from the first and second parts were Morven Robinson, who has an excellent natural style as “Tina”; Karen MacQuarrie, who reprised her role as the Newsreader, who also added a new role as “Luna”, the care home assistant; Brett Barnett; as Annie’s grandson, “Tom”, and young Lauran Thomas, as rreat granddaughter, “ Jenny”. Fiona Gaulty returned in new role as “Judith”, the care home manager. Finally, a guest cameo appearance by my good lady Linda Dauber completed the casting!
The recording was also a challenge again. The first one worked well over Zoom, but this one (like the second story) was more technically a struggle, maybe due to the fact that much of the country was using internet video chat capabilities by this time in lockdown, so the systems and broadband in general were well used. So it took quite a while in editing as well using Audacity, with again, some recordings having to come from the cast’s own recordings as well as my computer. But we got there and the Audio performance was released in June 2020. The music was the same as in stories 1 and 2 and was Kevin MacLeod’s Almost New and Rising Tide, but with an additional piece Clear Waters which featured near the end of the last but one scene – all these tracks are available on Kevin’s music website at https://incompetech.filmmusic.io.
The podcast was released on the Anchor podcasts site as were the first and second stories, and can be heard at this link: https://anchor.fm/Wombwell-thespians/episodes/Pandemic-Stories-3-Annie-eesuou Story 3 – “Annie” can also be heard now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and many other podcast sites…!
So a big thank you to all the cast for making this series work so well! You were all great.
So that’s it for now on the Pandemic Stories… I do have a draft online for stories 4 and 5 but now the lockdown has eased other pressures are taking time, and I and the group above are working on a recording an audio performance version of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde! A different challenge indeed and will be coming to a Podcast site near you before the end of August 2020!!
(Editor’s Note: The Thespians last staged this play in October 1994, with Christine Parker as Lady Bracknell, the late John Marshall as Canon Chasuble, Norma Hobson as Miss Prism and, our present secretary, Deborah White as the Hon: Gwendolyn Fairfax.