Mrs Atkins remembers: A play for radio in 1 act
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Broadcast annually on Sunny Govan Radio, 'Mrs Atkins remembers' is a seven minute play set in White Cliff’:s Rest Home where an Occupational Therapist is attempting to lead demented residents Mrs Atkins, Col. Halliburton, Michael, Catherine and the Vicar in a ‘:Down Memory Lane’: session. ‘:Dementia’: means the state of being out of one’:s mind and here out of the coercive official mindset of remembrance of the 2014 Centenary of the start of WW1. Subverting the ‘:therapeutic’: plans for happy memories, the residents and the Vicar in their fay conversation bring up dangerous memories of homosexuality in the ranks, carpet-bombing, court martial and military execution of shell-shocked soldiers –: and the recurring and final question: why? The playwright draws on family memories of his grandfather, stories from his father, accounts from WW1 nurses: a photograph of carpet-bombing: and his own experience of working with NST school heritage tours in Flanders and Picardy. He has previously published a critical article on this subject: “:Poppies and Pedagogy: learning from the Great War”:. Alan McManus is the founder of Tent City Theatre Company which, with a cooperative company of about fifty intelligent, creative and initially mostly un(der)employed friends, together with their sister student group, POLIS, played on SubCity Radio, Sunny Govan Radio: at Doune the Rabbithole, The Kinning Park Complex, The Pearce Institute, St Mary’:s Cathedral and for Philanthrobeats at The Flying Duck –: all in and around Glasgow. In doing so, they have learned new skills, honed old ones, have fun, raise their self-esteem and make theatre more popular. 'Mrs Atkins Remembers' is his first play for radio and is preceded by 'Jé:sus de Glasgow' (in homage to 'Jé:sus de Montreal') and 'Shock Doctrine'. Alan is a recent graduate of the Master of Literature: Playwriting Dramaturgy at the University of Glasgow and, on rejoining the community theatre company of his youth, played several supporting roles in Anne Downie’:s 'Parking Lot in Pitsburgh' then a main role in the full-length 3-hander 'Someone Who’:ll Watch Over Me' by Frank McGuinness. As a free-lance academic, he also publishes books and articles on philosophy and ethics as well as an inclusive series of novels set in Glasgow (the Bruno Benedetti Mysteries) under the pen name of Alan Ahrens-McManus.