Dr Fielding dies (working title) is a little trifle that I’m playing with for my 40th birthday which is due to take place at the Wells-next-to-the-Sea WI. Borrowing hugely in terms of structure and style from murder mystery nights and pieces like White Rabbit, Red Rabbit and Ross Sutherlands Comedian Dies in the Middle of the Joke I’ve been trying to source as much as the narrative as possible via social media.
The basic concept is Dr Fielding comes to give a talk to the ladies of the WI in Wells on 20 April 1973. Mid way through the talk he dies….
So the story started when I put a call out – via twitter and face book – for suitable names of ladies who could be members of the WI in 1973 (the Wells next to the Sea branch). Within second of posting suggestions were flowing in (see below).
That then developed into asking for a back story. I was looking for ` what the lady concerned is known for around the village `, `her dark secret ` and her prop …. the thing she is never without. (Feel free to add further suggestions via comments below….or via the thread on Facebook or via twitter!
So here’s our list of ladies…. together with some character notes provided via Facebook and twitter.
(Grace used to be known as Glynis Charlton, but she went through a rebirthing and a name change in an effort to solve her many many problems: She was allergic to everything, was always ill with something or other, grows and devours strange herbs, tries all the latest health fads and theories, weaves her own liberty bodices out of used yoghurt pots, wears lots of colours and layers and even now has a habit of bursting into peoples homes and conversations and saying “Guess what? I ve just discovered it is (insert Iatest idea here) I am allergic to!) ( it isnt) She has just a touch of premature dementia about her, nothing you can put your finger on. Just a few strange sentence constructions. But people quite like her. Shes a character you see…)
(Persephone and Frances (Fanny) Hunter became very close when they were land girls together)
(Always has a bottle of night nurse with her… In a bottle curiously labelled blue saphire)
( No one knows how how Maureen ended up in Wells, least of all Maureen. Her earliest memory is when she awoke with a sudden jolt on the 3:57 to Wells with a hand back full of 50 pound notes the keys to the Tea Shoppe and a very sore bottom. She knows nothing of her former life all she knows is she has to stay in wells making indigestible sponges and ‘await furthur instruktion’)
(Eve has dual life, teaching people to fly microlights off the North Norfolk coast while studying at the OU as a plant biologist. She used to have a job on the Suffolk coast at Sizewell looking for mutant plants and radioactive butterflies and destroying them before they can do any damage, but after hearing a sea-cabbage scream at her as she pulled it out of the ground she left the same day and took to the skies at Sea-Palling.)
Goes nowhere without a shooting stick and a Labrador and patronises the rest of the ladies madly.
Lydia Althrop has been letting out a holiday cottage in the grounds of Althrop Farm for years – to the same person, her secret son, born after a teenage tryst with a now famous actor who was on location shooting a (then) avant garde adaptation of Far From The Madding Crowd in 1932. Her husband Roger comes from a long line of reluctant farmers and has been too busy looking after his prize bullocks to worry about what his wife is up to for years. Despite attending the C of E local school, Lydia was bought up with a good deal of Catholic tradition by her mother, a Russian refugee distantly related to the Romanovs (Lydia’s middle name is Anastacia), and has a set of rosary beads, which she has adapted into a chain for her spectacles so she can do a handy bit of penance every time she wants to look closely at something, much to the annoyance of Cynthia Flint, a fanatical Methodist.
Now lives with Mary Howell `s ex husband
Is in a secret relationship with Mary Howell
Writes poetry, mainly about the village, in a slightly more robust but Patience Strong vein…. She self publishes
Is in a secret relationship with Noah Nelson.
Now we move onto the nature of Dr Fielding’s talk. The question posed was ‘ok now I need brief facts (well they can be facts or pure fiction) for dr fieldings talk to the ladies of the wi about the wells to fakenham (via Walsingham) railway…will incorporate all suggestions some how!’
I should say all this is for a totally fictional trifle. It bears no relation whatsoever to truth, and is purely for fun.