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Table read for What Davidson Heard April 4, 2014

Posted by William Spear in >> Dramatic Radio.
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This past Tuesday, 1 April, The Book Garden, A Community Bookshop in Frenchtown, New Jersey, hosted a table read for “What Davidson Heard.” The evening revealed strengths and weaknesses of the script, an audio drama interpretation of H.G. Wells’ “The Remarkable Case of Davidson’s Eyes,” (Part of “The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents” by H. G. Wells at Gutenberg) and the participants’ input have provided landmarks towards making the script production ready.

Serialized in three parts of approximately ten minutes each, WHAT DAVIDSON HEARD is a contemporary story set in Highgate Chemicals on its final day of operation in the midst of a violent thunderstorm. The main character is Sydney Davidson, General Manager of the plant, who is found screaming and covered in blood. But it’s not her blood. Further, Davidson is experiencing brutal attacks by an unseen assailant.

The Character List is as follows:

ANNOUNCER: Gets the audience into, and out of, the program. Male or Female.

MISTER CHAMBERS: Banker to the Davidson family. Trying to finalize the sale of Highgate Chemicals. Male, 55-60 years old.

TOM BELLOWS: Longstanding executive of Highgate Chemicals. Male, 50-55 years old.

SYDNEY DAVIDSON: General Manager, and third generation family owner, of Highgate Chemicals. Female, late 20’s-30 years old.

DOCTOR BOYCE: Doctor to the Davidson family. Female, 50-55-years old.

LIEUTENANT WADE: Investigating the attacks on Sydney. Also, ex-wife of Tom Bellows. Female, 50-55 years old.

The following draft excerpt, which includes Doctor Boyce, Tom Bellows, Mister Chambers, and Sydney Davidson, appears towards the end of Part One:

BOYCE: She’s in here.

BELLOWS: Let’s go in.

BOYCE: I want to warn you of a few things.

CHAMBERS: Of what.

BOYCE: She’s stopped screaming but is still susceptible to outbursts.

BELLOWS: Do something for her.

BOYCE: I poured sedatives into her but nothing worked. Finally a warm damp towel over her eyes calmed her down.

BELLOWS: We’ll be quiet.

BOYCE: There’s more.

BELLOWS: I said we’d be quiet.

BOYCE: She keeps calling for “Jackson.”

BELLOWS: Nobody in the plant’s named Jackson.

CHAMBERS: She’s never spoken of a “Jackson” to me.

BOYCE: Avoid the topic and she’ll stay calm. (BEAT) Now we’ll go in.


BOYCE: (Speaks softly) Miss Davidson. (BEAT) Sydney?

DAVIDSON: (Off MIC and behind DOOR) Yes Doctor Boyce.

BOYCE: Tom and Mister Chambers are here. May we come in?

DAVIDSON: (Off MIC and behind DOOR) Of course.

BOYCE: (Whispers to TOM and CHAMBERS) Remember, no mention of “Jackson.” (To DAVIDSON) Here we come.

CHAMBERS: (BEAT) Hello Miss Davidson.

DAVIDSON: That sounds like Mister Chambers.

CHAMBERS: Without even seeing me, very good. You gave us quite a fright young lady.

DAVIDSON: I scared myself. (BEAT and raises VOICE) Tom?

BELLOWS: Right here, sleepyhead.

DAVIDSON: Sorry for the excitement.

BELLOWS: You livened things up. What happened?

DAVIDSON: One moment I was walking to my office and the next I was here.

BELLOWS: You didn’t see anything?

DAVIDSON: It’s hard to explain with this towel on my face. (To BOYCE) Doctor Boyce, can I take it off?

BOYCE: If you’re up to it.

DAVIDSON: I am. (BEAT) That’s better. I can look- (Terrified and thrashing ARMS) Get away from me! Stay back, Jackson, or I’ll call the police. (Screams)


The next read is at The Book Garden on Tuesday 29 April. If you are interested in throwing lines or offering feedback please leave a comment or send a note to William Spear at two.plus.plus.productions@gmail.com.