Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
There'sa small hotel - but I have reservations
Director Lynne Devenish is throwing political correctness out the window when she brings her baffling murder mystery spoof Prepare To Meet Thy Tomb to the stage at Guildford's Garrick Theatre this month.
The play follows Tomb With A View and Tiptoe Through the Tombstones to complete the trilogy of plays from Norman Robbins. Robbins is one of the most prolific writers of light comedy and pantomime for the amateur stage. He is also a performer and an author. His book on the evolution of pantomime was published in 2002 with the title Slapstick and Sausages .
The Cast of Prepare to Meet Thy Tomb in rehearsal (Photograph courtesy of Garrick Theatre)
Director Devinish: "As night falls on Monument House Hotel and Alternative Health Spa, Hecuba Tomb and her niece Drusilla receive a series of unexpected visitors. Novelist Philippa and her assistant Daphne are seeking refuge from a mysterious follower they fear may be the notorious Norfolk Strangler."
Hot on their heels comes flamboyant, openly gay TV presenter Quentin Danesworth and vacuous honeymooners Robert and Miranda. The uninvited guests are soon snooping around the secret passages of the creepy old mansion and asking too many questions for comfort."
Ms Devenish said the play featured over-the-top characters and shocking plot twists. "No secret panel is unoccupied, no cup of tea untouched, and nobody is who they appear to be," she said.
The play is set in the modern day with the characters appearing ostensibly normal whilst continuing to uphold the Tomb traditions of murdering by contract, or whim, whichever comes first."
Playwright Norman Robbins (photograph courtesy N Robbins)