Inherit The Wind

published: Sun, 1-Oct-2006   |   updated: Fri, 30-Dec-2022

Davenport in Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee for the Dulwich Players at St. Barnabas Hall, Dulwich Village. Directed by Ted Tunna. January 1988.

Ultra famous play about the Scopes Trial in Tennessee. I had a small part as the DA, Davenport, who's completely eclipsed by Brady.

For me, the production is etched into my brain because of what happened on the first night, a Friday. I'd got divorced from my wife in early 1987, and, prior to that, in October/November 1986 I'd bought a new flat in Hammersmith in a converted Victorian church (it's at the junction of Stamford Brook Road and Goldhawk Road if you're in the area). When I moved in, the builders were still constructing the other flats; I'd had one of the first ones. Anyway, the afternoon of the first performance, I'd left work early to get back home, grab my stuff, and hightail it across London to Dulwich in time for the show.

I rounded the corner in the hallway to see the door to my flat slightly ajar. I thought, hmm, the builders must have come back and let themselves in for some reason. How silly we are when we see something out of the ordinary: we immediately fashion a simple excuse. Of course, my flat had been burgled; they'd shouldered the door open and stolen my hi-fi and TV and other silly electronica (I had a Casio calculator that could play tunes, it was nicked too).

I phoned the police, and phoned the director of the play to say I'd been burgled and I might not be able to make it. He was, to put it mildly, uncaring about my problems. So I knocked next door and asked them to look out for the police, but that I couldn't be there since I had a performance.

Needless to say, my performance that evening was full of fire. That night, I couldn't sleep at all, every slight noise would wake me and make me stiffen trying to hear. The next evening's performance was utter crap; it was amazing I didn't just fall asleep on stage. Luckily we'd done it in the round (there was audience behind me as well as in front), otherwise I might have done.

(I claimed on the insurance and replaced everything after screwing London bars into the door frame and fitting window locks on the window frames. The little Casio was no longer sold, but I eventually replaced it through an auction on eBay a couple of years ago.)


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