Episode 13.14: Back To Skool (Edinburgh Fringe Fundraiser Special)

Monday 10th July 2017 at Bristol Grammar School’s 1532 Performing Arts Centre.

Pablo and Candi are wondering what life would have been like at school when we are magically transported to the mid-1990s to witness an imagined history of Newtown High under Headmistress Constance Sugar. Her faculty include Mr Richard Johnson, Nurse Bucket and drama teacher Ms Tuesday who is planning a talent show and helping librarian Ms Thornfield find her voice.

Pablo wants to be one of the cool kids (a gang known as ‘The Jets’ made up of Reg, Candi and Gina) and is incited to shoplift and fight with head boy Jimmy Brightside. In retaliation, the uncool kids (Jimmy, Harold, Ivy and Monica) form their own gang called ‘The Sharks’, but as everyone is poised to battle, they realise the true enemy is the faculty! Descending on the staff room where Mrs Sugar has been trying to seduce Mr Johnson, the pupils demand the school be turned into a performing arts academy. Headmistress Sugar agrees and the transition is marked by a rousing Shakespearean song by Ms Thornfield.

Memorable Moments:

  • The moment when Reg realises the girl he has a crush on, the fossil loving Ivy, is in fact a Shark!
  • Pablo sneaking into Claire’s Accessories to shoplift a scrunchy, soundtracked by jazz funk.
  • Special guest appearances from Jimmy Brightside, Eliza Thornfield, Nurse Polly Bucket, Ms Tulip Tuesday and Ivy Nicholson.

How will these experiences influence Candi in Newtown today?
Will Pablo continue to dream of being one of the cool kids?
Was life really like that at school for the community?

Find out in Season 14 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.

Episode 13.13: Family Is The Most Important Thing

Monday 26th June 2017 at The Wardrobe Theatre.

Harold has invited Pablo and his long-lost sister, Monica, round for dinner. After some confusion, awkward romance, and manipulation from Pablo, Harold invites them both to move in!

Meanwhile, Rita wants to make Simpkins pay for everything he did to her but she’s taken aback when he apologises, citing that family is the most important thing. Meanwhile Scarlett has run away leaving AJ and Gina distraught, they too make up and vow to find her, with the help of Candi and Big Dick. Scarlett has hit the road with Reg, Billy and Suzi, searching for her real mother when Suzi drops a bombshell – she is Scarlett’s mum! Everyone catches up and at Gloucester Services, after lots of finger pointing, AJ reveals the truth: Suzi is pretending to be Scarlett’s mother as she is his stalker! Gina and Scarlett finally emotionally make up and after everyone hugs, Scarlett heads off – her birth mother is still out there!

Memorable Moments:

  • The monumental twist that Suzi wasn’t Scarlett’s real mother after all!
  • Reg commenting that Suzi drives a Ford Megan, not an Alterier Motive.
  • Candi alone scene after scene looking for someone to play Frisbee with her.

Will Scarlett ever find her real mother?
Will Suzi continue to stalk AJ?
How will Harold find living with Pablo and Monica?

Find out in Season 14 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.

Episode 13.12: Blind Fury

Rita has returned to town, haunted by memories of her ex-husband Simpkins’ cruelty. While Dick and Gina rekindle their love through extended metaphors, Harold is furious at losing his (missing, presumed dead) love, Pablo. He goes on a rampage. Candy, Bunny and AJ try to hunt him down but instead find Pablo alive and well! The two lovers are reunited at last- only for Pablo to discover that Harold has trashed his salon!

During a game of football with Billy, Reg loses an eye. Scarlett appears, still angry at Gina and desperate to find herself. The trio head to Newtown archives to discover her birth mother’s identity. Finally they get a name- Juliet Pickles Shawshank- and head off on a quest to find her.

Memorable Moments

  • Dick and Gina’s sexy lizard kiss
  • Harold finding his beloved Pablo alive
  • The Audience being asked to clap for a very, very long time while we did some filming for a trailer- thanks again, everyone

Will Scarlet find her birth mother?
Can Pablo forgive Harold?
What will Rita do when she meets Simpkins?
Will we get to see more of Gina and Dick doing weird sexy stuff?

Find out in Episode 13 of Closer Each Day

Episode 13.11: Once Upon a Star…

Monday 29th May 2017 at The Wardrobe Theatre.

After her drunken tryst with Reg, Gina is desperate for Big Dick’s forgiveness. She eventually convinces him she will do anything to make it up to him. Elsewhere, new arrival Bunny Smith has been ejected from The Guild of Star People but Candi misunderstands her explanations about the cult and assumes she is literally from the stars: an alien!

Meanwhile, The Lake Survivors (Fred, AJ, Simpkins and Harold) meet to formalise their new Freemason-style group. Their first task is to make Harold happy again and AJ encourages him to smash up Pablo’s salon so he can move on. But Harold is still grieving for his dead love and Fred sees that this is not the answer for his son’s broken heart. Pablo is not dead however but still lost at sea! He is finally saved by a passing cruise ship, having been spotted by beautician Monica. The two of them have a lot in common and after talking about their childhoods, realise that they are long-lost siblings!

Memorable Moments:

  • The Lake Survivors’ initiation ceremony as they, oops, missed the chair!
  • Genuinely touching scenes as Gina tries to win back Big Dick’s love
  • Fred’s freewheeling verse in The Lake Survivors’ rock song as Harold smashes up the salon

Has Big Dick really decided to forgive and forget Gina’s betrayal?
What is Bunny searching for in Newtown?
Can Monica help Pablo make it back to Newtown?

Find out in Episode 12 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.

Episode 13.10: Death By Chocolate

Monday 15th May 2017 at The Bristol Improv Theatre.

The challenge is set: Billy must catch in his mouth the chocolate Big Dick throws his way, or Dick will kill him. Luckily Billy (just) manages it, a brush with death that provokes him to get in touch with his mother. Meanwhile, AJ and Simpkins are boating on a lake but suddenly they get caught in a violent electric storm! Harold and Fred spot them from the hospital and rush in to help. All four are about to drown, when at the last minute, a passing Billy sees their plight and manages to rescue them. Elated, they form a secret league of The Lake Survivors.

In Calais, Reg and Gina are having wild, steamy sex in a Travelodge. Reg is smitten, but Gina fears what will happen when Dick finds out. Reg resolves to kill his love rival upon their return to Newtown; however, Dick has been tipped off by insider Paul and instead Gina and Reg find themselves caught in another lethal game of Catch The Chocolate. They escape with their lives, but Paul gets butchered with a model antler.

Memorable Moments:

  • Fred, Harold, AJ and Simpkins floundering about in the lake
  • Gina’s fantasy montage of all the ways Big Dick is more macho than Reg
  • Dick’s confused phone conversation with Paul, who keeps confusing Dick with John

Is there a new love triangle between Gina, Dick and Reg?
What will become of the Storm Survivors?
Will Dick ever run out of chocolate eggs?

Find out in Episode 11 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.

Episode 13.9: Mayday! Mayday! (SS Great Britain Special)

Monday 1st May 2017 at Brunel’s SS Great Britain.

As Reg and Simpkins visit the historic docksides of Bristol, we flashback to 1852 and witness an untold voyage of the SS Great Britain between Newtown and Melbourne!

As the ship departs Newtown harbour, tavern wench Georgina smuggles aboard and ingratiates herself with the crew (including romantically with ship-hand Harold). In the first class cabins Lady Constance can see through Lord Reginald’s love poems, knowing he only wants to inherit her father’s mining fortune. She seeks to start a new life in Australia and finds a kindred spirit in warm-hearted chancer William de Burgh – while Lord Reginald too falls for another, in ship’s maid Susannah Shlovely.

Prisoner Richard Johnson ‘The Large’ has been brought aboard to face justice in Australia. He manages to turn Chief Engineer Spencer and ship’s cook Simpkins against Captain Pablo and stages a mutiny, ultimately ending in the Captain’s poisoning and death! Richard Johnson assumes the captaincy and with his new powers, marries the three couples as well as himself to Spencer!

More photos from this episode here.

Memorable Moments:

  • Captain Pablo making a sacrifice to the “Sail Away” sirens whilst passing the Orinoco Strait.
  • The momentary carnage onboard as the ship survives a titanic encounter with an iceberg.
  • All the crew coming out on deck one by one to take part in the traditional morning stretches.
  • Lady Constance and Lord Reginald gazing out of their porthole at sea creatures, passing ships and a desert island.

“Quick-witted, very watchable ensemble, razor-sharp in timing and delivery.”
– ★★★★ Stage Talk

Read the full review here.

Will these historic revelations have any kind of effect on the wider community?
Where will Reg and Simpkins visit next on their history travels?
Were these stories just tall tales or was their some truth to these historic happenings?

Find out in Episode 10 of Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera.