Two-In-A-Row Win For Amateur Playwright

Steve Sims with the Shirley Smith Trophy

Steve Sims with the Shirley Smith Trophy

It’s two-in-a-row for amateur playwright Steve Sims after winning Scilly’s One-Act Play Festival again on Sunday.

Steve was awarded the Shirley Smith Trophy, given in honour of the popular Theatre Club member who passed away in 2012.

His comedy, ‘Pop In If You Are Passing’ captured the very British discomfort when a couple you’ve met on holiday take you up on the invitation to visit you back home.

Only in this case, it’s 35 years after the trip and secrets about what went on during that week away in Spain start to be revealed.

It was a well-written piece with some great dialogue, which was brilliantly acted, even though the performers only had a single rehearsal beforehand.

Steve says he finds it easy to write – he just sits down and the words come to him, although he admits the plots never seem to go the way he intended at the start.

And he says he’d struggle to write anything serious. The secret is just using observational humour, says Steve, and finding the “ridiculous” in any situation.

He’s keen to enter for a third time next year and go for the hat-trick.

Steve was up against four other plays.

Mary Dean’s ‘Waiting For Lunch’ was a bittersweet play set in a care home, where the three ‘inmates’ were plotting escape, but in the end, didn’t quite have the energy for it.

There were some lovely moments, particularly from Tim Dean as a sleepy old Irishman.

Maggie Perkovic wrote a short sketch ‘The Maiden’s Return’ which was a scene from a soap opera, complete with a long lost father and brother, transported to 17th century rural England.

The audience loved it and Gordon Abbot as a country yokel got plenty of laughs.

There were some vaguely familiar scenes in Gordon Bilsborough’s ‘Yes, Councillor,’ about the machinations between officers and elected members in a fictional, island-based local authority as they push through planning permission for a combined rubbish incinerator and crematorium.

It was perhaps a touch too long for a one-act play, but still raised plenty of wry smiles from the audience.

Jon Mackenzie’s ‘Time Trial’ was the most ambitious, being set in a courtroom in the future.

His lead character, played by himself, was on trial for using a time machine to try to find a girlfriend and producing awful poetry. It was possibly a bit too difficult to follow for some.

The event, which is now in its third year, was well attended.

Judge Paul Dodgson commented on how the scripts are getting better and harder to judge each year.

You can see photos from all the plays here.