Damon Rochefort is a seasoned TV writer and contributor to some of the most successful shows on television (Coronation Street, Birds of a Feather, Benidorm). He is now showcasing selected scenes of his own newly commissioned TV pilot, Skeletons, a comedy/murder mystery with suspicious characters and the suggestion of a dead body or two. The piece is bursting with stereotypes who might have stepped out of EastEnders, toting their own skeletons, in search of a more sophisticated plot. And based on the tasty morsel on show at The Cockpit Theatre for two performances only, Skeletons is chock full of the finest ingredients a Whodunnit? has to offer.
Even Agatha Christie would approve of the 12-strong cast of actors who play contentious neighbours living in the same cul-de-sac, all with secrets and fractious lifestyles.
Delicious hints are dropped when a wheelchair-bound elderly woman, who can secretly walk, is bundled off to a pricey nursing home – where does the money come from? – only to be booted out for misbehaviour. Is she a suspect? Or the devious husband who mistreated a previous live-in employee. When the employee vanishes we wonder ‘did he have a hand in it’? Enter an outsider who shows up skint and desperate for a job, but secretly working undercover to solve the disappearance of her good friend, and you have the murmurings of a female Inspector Poirot.
Judging from its selected scenes, Skeletons has the potential of an intriguing mini-series with a faithful audience tuning in each week to watch the mystery unravel. Thanks to the taut guidance of director Harriet Taylor, its numerous plotlines were surprisingly easy to follow, an accomplished feat when only a segment of dark and multifarious undercurrents are on offer.
Alongside Camden Fringe Festival 2019, the selected scenes from Skeletons were performed live on stage as an Industry Showcase by Nothing to Perform (N2P), an award-winning creative team that supports actors and new writing.
Review by Loretta Monaco
This Camden Fringe, N2P are offering an Industry Showcase, featuring a dozen emerging artists performing never before seen work by acclaimed TV writer Damon Rochefort (credits include Coronation Street, Puppy Love, Getting On, and Birds of a Feather). Selected scenes will be presented with a post-show Q&A and drinks.
Produced and presented by Nothing to Perform
Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th August – 7pm