One Chord Wonders: Parallel Lines
Frank Cottrell Boyce's series of plays about the punk generation 30 years on begins with the story of Julie, the singer in an ageing Blondie tribute band.
An invitation to the reunion of the audience at an Adverts gig in 1977 brings some skeletons dancing from the cupboard.
ONE CHORD WONDERS is a series of 5 plays by top British screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce.
The series looks at the 'punk generation' three decades on, with each play telling a different, but connected, story.
Featured actors include Pauline Quirke, Doon Mackichan, Sian Reeves, Richard Ridings, Danny Webb, Manjinder Virk and Fenella Woolgar.
The plays are as follows: 'Parallel Lines' (2 April), 'Blitzkrieg Bop' (9 April), 'Damned, Damned, Damned' (16 April), 'This is the Modern World' (23 April) and 'Television's Over' (30 April)
Frank Cottrell Boyce is probably best known for films like '24 Hour Party People', 'A Cock & Bull Story', 'Hilary & Jackie', 'Welcome to Sarajevo' and 'Butterfly Kiss'.
He won the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2004 for 'Millions', his first novel, which was subsequently filmed by British director Danny Boyle.
The series is based on the fictional premise that in March 1977 punk band the Adverts performed a gig in Camberley to an audience of 27 people.
Some 30 years later, someone is trying to bring those 27 people back together again for a reunion.
'Parallel Lines' stars Doon Mackichan (Julie), Sian Reeves (Thing) and Rosie Cavaliero (Margaret).
Julie, a singer in an ageing Blondie tribute band, receives her invitation to the reunion.
Husband and partner in the band Pete has also been invited - he was, after all, dubbed 'Zorba the Freak' for his legendary exploits that night.
As she grapples with whether to go or not, she tries to track down 'Thing' (aka Anne Kirby) and Margaret, two of her contemporaries from those formative days.
With so much invested in the past, Julie finds herself facing some uncomfortable truths.
'Blitzkrieg Bop' stars Pauline Quirke as a struggling commercial radio presenter who has also been invited to the reunion.
In fact, as the self-styled Mo Motormouth, she was the co-promoter of the gig.
Encouraged by her ambitious - or should that be desperate - producer Shammi (Manjinder Virk), her career receives a belated boost when she gives her on-air persona an opinionated, in-yer-face punk makeover.
Will her new-found success survive the attention of the 'livelier' element amongst her audience...not least former co-promoter Benny Bondage (Adam Kotz) who seems convinced there's a nasty skeleton rattling in Mo's cupboard?
'Damned, Damned, Damned' stars Richard Ridings as Mick who worked in 'personal security' for rock and pop bands until an unfortunate incident with an over-enthusiastic fan saw him jailed for violence.
As part of his battle to come to terms with what he has become, Mick has been trying to mentor a volatile young prisoner.
The invitation to the reunion arrives, throwing his thoughts back to his young self and deeply unsettling him.
He remembers that night in 1977 as the best night of his life.
Then he receives a letter from someone else who was at the gig (Muttley) which turns his own memories on their head.
Prison is not the place to start to lose control...
'This is the Modern World' stars Danny Webb as Muttley, a man recently widowed and living in an eco-commune in Wales with his teenage daughter, Lineel (Stephanie Leonidas).
When an invitation to the reunion turns up, Lineel is desperate to find out more about her late mother's previous life in Camberley.
Having failed to persuade her to visit Camberley by 'mental motoring' (ie.
in her imagination), Muttley reluctantly agrees to accompany Lineel on a pilgrimage back to his home town...on foot.
There Lineel learns the unlikely truth about her parents' past, as well as getting an abrupt introduction to life in the 'real world' beyond the confines of the commune.
'Television's Over' takes us back to Camberley in 1977 and the day punk rock arrived in the town.
Many of the characters we have met in the previous plays are there in their teenage guise.
At the centre of it all is Adam (Kristopher Milnes), a young lad in desperate need of something to believe in.
Despite the best efforts of his father (a police sergeant), and many of the town's councillors to stop the gig going ahead, a venue is secured at the last minute thanks to a thrusting young Tory councillor (Fenella Woolgar).
Thus Adam and his mates spend a life-changing evening at the Police Social Club watching punk legends the Adverts.
Memories are rekindled when a singer in a Blondie tribute band is invited to a reunion.
Julie is a singer in an ageing Blondie tribute band.
Steve Reeves....Ivan Kaye
Directed by Toby Swift