Episode 11.12: The Referendum (100th Ever Episode Special)

Monday 20th June 2016 at The Wardrobe Theatre.

As Simpkins’ life hangs by a thread, his soul has floated up to the gates of heaven where the long-deceased Judith is assessing his eligibility for entry – did he use the time he was given wisely?

Meanwhile, Big Dick Johnson has called a referendum – the community will vote whether they want Simpkins to “leave” this mortal coil or “remain” alive. The decision divides Newtown bitterly and, after many arguments, radio debates and bake sales, everyone heads to the ballot box. As the last and deciding voter, Fred is agonisingly torn. The stress provokes a heart attack and his dying wish is for his organs to be donated to Simpkins – an operation that successfully revives him! Suddenly full of love and life, Simpkins generously grants wishes to all the community including an unattested divorce for Rita and a quarter of a million pounds for Sazz who he had swindled out of her inheritance. Won over, the community burst into song and carry Simpkins on their shoulders – he is a changed man!

Memorable Moments:
– The biggest episode ever at double the normal length, with 2 musicians and 17 characters including several special guest appearances
– Harold and Reg unwittingly interrupting a secret romantic picnic between Constance and Spencer, triggering a round of foodstuff innuendo – Constance likes her cheese hard, red and veiny
– Fred’s spontaneous and potty-mouthed referendum rap
– The flashback to Morris Cumberbatch’s untimely death; interrupted making nunchucks with a circular saw
– Reg’s politically satirical fascist rants, including accusing the Simpkins Remain Campaign of “Project Fear”
– Fred and Simpkins taking on each other’s consciousness after they had swapped organs

Has Simpkins truly changed for the better?
What will Sazz do with her new inheritance money?
How will the community mourn the death of Fred?
Find out in Season 12 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.

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Episode 11.11: Who Stabbed Simpkins?

Monday 6th June 2016 at The Wardrobe Theatre.

It’s Reg’s first day as a door-to-door salesman and after making a successful Tupperware sale to Constance, he and Billy offend Gina and get themselves barred from the pub. Meanwhile, work experience student Scarlett is learning the ropes at the salon and after giving Big Dick Johnson a kale wrapped massage, discovers that Harold has been giving his clients lots of “extras”.

Simpkins is on death’s door after being stabbed by three separate attackers! A distraught Sazz has fond memories of her uncle and so takes it upon herself to solve the crime. With the help of Suzi and Pablo, she provokes a confession out of the vengeful Rita and also points the finger at Dick and Constance, both of whom admit their crimes freely and show no remorse. Sazz demands they pay for their crimes but the three appeal to the community, arguing that Newtown is a better place without Simpkins – they want to go to the hospital and finish the job!

Memorable Moments:
– Constance taking great glee in bathing in Simpkins’ blood
– Several very short, one-line scenes of Pablo consoling Rita
– Gina arriving for a massage at the salon but all she can here is sex noise from the back rooms

Will the community decide to end Simpkins’ life?
Will Rita, Dick and Constance pay for their crimes?
How much longer can Harold go on giving his massage clients “extras”?
Find out in Episode 12 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.

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Episode 11.10: Newtown Never Forgets

Monday 23rd May 2016 at The Wardrobe Theatre.

In the salon, Scarlett and Pablo are bonding over their recurring nightmares but in the pub personalities are clashing: Suzi is doing her best to calm matters but Constance is jealous of Gina’s close relationship with Big Dick Johnson while Gina thinks Constance is a bully! Meanwhile, door-to-door salesman Billy De Burg is selling Tupperware to Reg. What with Harold so busy with his new job, Reg is getting lonely at home all day and so wants to join Billy’s salesman team. Later, Harold and Reg are both anxious that that this new hansom man in their lives will affect their relationship.

Since the community’s angry confrontation with Simpkins last week, there has been an uneasy peace hanging over the place and Dick comes to remind Simpkins and Rita the town motto: ‘Newtown Never Forgets’. Enraged, Simpkins goes for a long walk alone but is later found stabbed! Sazz tries to apply some emergency first aid on her uncle but the community are disinterested. Later in the hospital, surgeons work furiously into the night but can they save Simpkins’ life?

Memorable Moments:
– Big Dick Johnson asking every lady he meets whether they’ve lost weight
– Psychedelic flashbacks to Scarlett and Pablo’s abstract nightmares
– Reg and Harold bickering as they prepare dinner when they cut and burn themselves at the same time

Will Simpkins survive the surgery?
Is this the start of a mighty feud between Gina and Constance?
Who stabbed Simpkins?
Find out in Episode 11 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.

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Episode 11.9: Off The Hook

Monday 9th May 2016 at The Wardrobe Theatre.

There is undeniable sexual tension between Constance and Spencer but both are wary of a new relationship. Spencer is married and Constance is conscious of her standing in the community so they resolve to begin a very secret love affair together. Meanwhile in the salon, wannabe hairdresser Pablo has booked in Suzi, Sazz and Scarlett all in for a hair appointment at the same time! Struggling to cope, he breaks down but (with the help of a talking comb) the girls comfort him and encourage him not put so much pressure on himself.

Having been exposed, Simpkins is scared and on the run. He looks to Harold for help but he cannot delay the inevitable as a furious Big Dick Johnson has gathered the entire community together calling for his blood! The riled mob go hunting for Simpkins with pitchforks and eventually corner him in the hotel where he pleads for his life in song. Having been calmed, the mob turn to Rita for final judgement and although she hates Simpkins, she realises she loves him deeply too and so, for now, Simpkins is off the hook.

Memorable Moments:
– The reoccurring gag of Big Dick Johnson being too angry to flirt with the various women of Newtown
– Harold ingeniously managing to hide from Simpkins in plain sight
– Constance and Spencer trying to secretly kiss in the street but keep getting interrupted by the community just at the last moment

How long will this peace between Simpkins and the community last?
Can Pablo ever become a truly great hairdresser?
Will Constance and Spencer manager to keep their love affair a secret?
Find out in Episode 10 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.

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Episode 11.8: Emptied Urns & Unwelcome Returns

Monday 25th April 2016 at The Wardrobe Theatre.

At Fred’s radio station it’s time for Suzi’s debut show and, after experimenting with some new features like ‘What’s That Sound?’, she really enjoys the experience. Across town in the salon, tensions are running high as Pablo has accidentally spilt his mother’s urn! During the clean-up, he opens up to Harold and Reg about his horrible upbringing and with their support, eventually finds the courage to pour his mother’s ashes down the drain!

Dick has vowed to kill Simpkins if he ever shows his face in Newtown again but he and Constance have a funny feeling their enemy is back. Meanwhile in the pub, Gina gets chatting to a curious man who introduces himself as Phillip. This stranger slowly manipulates Gina to sign over her ownership of the pub to him but just as her pen is about to touch paper, the community burst in and expose Phillip’s true identity – he is Simpkins returned!

Memorable Moments:
– The dramatic flashback to Pablo’s horrible relationship with his abusive mother, personified by Constance, and Pablo, Reg and Harold’s ensuing struggle to get over her through a dance montage.
– The climatic reveal as Phillip removes his hat and sunglasses to reveal he was Simpkins all along, provoking gasps from all around!
– Dick and Constance driving around town looking for evidence of Simpkins and bumping into all of the community one by one.

Will Dick stay true to his word and kill Simpkins now he is back?
What will happen during Suzi’s next radio show?
Now he’s thrown off the shackles of his mother, what does the future hold for Pablo?
Find out in Episode 9 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.

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Episode 11.7: Pitts, Pongs & Hairdressing Songs

Monday 11th April 2016 at The Wardrobe Theatre.

It’s his first day in Pablo’s salon as a masseur, but Harold’s spiritual approach to massage is interrupted by the ghoulish presence of Pablo’s deceased mother hanging over them. Across town, handyman Spencer has come to work on Constance’s flat but gets distracted by a powerful pong. He rips up all the floorboards seeking out the smell until he realises it is Constance herself. Constance remedies the situation with a luxurious bath and once clean, she convinces Spencer to join her in the tub!

Meanwhile, mother and daughter, Gina and Scarlett Pitts, are new in town but waste no time in meeting their neighbours. Whimsical teenager Scarlett bonds with Reg over their dream diaries and northern lass Gina meets Big Dick Johnson at the local pub to sign the lease of ownership. Later they are joined by Suzi (who is celebrating having been offered a slot on Fred’s radio station after excelling during that morning’s show) and over a drink, Suzi suggests that Gina turn her pub into a pub-theatre!

Memorable Moments:
– Spencer crawling around the flat trying to find the source of the smell as Constance tries to avoid him.
– Reoccurring flashbacks to a big am-dram musical that Harold directed and starred about the struggles of being a hairdresser.
– Spencer trying to keep up with the banging soundeffects as he relayed Constance’s floorboards.

Will Pablo be forced to confront the ghost of his mother?
What does the future hold for Gina and the pub?
How will Suzi’s first show go on Fred’s radio station?
Find out in Episode 8 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.

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