Wednesday, 14 December 2005

"So, my dear brother, are you still as allergic to cats as ever?"

A great day today, as I was able to crown a new winner in my long-running 'Most Bare-faced Piece of Exposition in A Radio Four Afternoon Play' competition. Of course, radio plays are particular happy hunting grounds for these, as they not only have to do all the standard 'How long have we been married now, darling?' stuff you get in any play, they also have to tell you where and when each scene is set, and everything else as well. Timothy West wrote a very funny spoof radio play about this effect entitled 'This Gun That I'm Holding In My Right Hand Is Loaded'. Anyway, the previous winner of my competition has held the crown for a very long time now- a brilliant line that began a scene near the end of a play that spanned twenty years from 1900.

LADY EXPOSITION: 'Ellen! How many times must I tell you - we will not lay out the best silver until this dreadful war is over!'

But now even that has been surpassed. Yesterday afternoon, the play concerned two lovers, one of whom went to fight in the second world war, whilst the other waited for him. Near the end of the play, a scene opened with an engine letting off steam, lots of crowd noise and shouting, the waiting lover saying 'How do I look?' and then, the proud new winner of my exposition award:

NEWSPAPER BOY: 'Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Our boys come home! Waterloo Station chocka! Read all about it!'



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