Stand and Delivery

Written by Mark Wakeman

Friday 14th March 2008

Directed by Francine Huin-Wah

The first round of the All England Theatre Festival (Western Area, Southern Division) is usually held at the Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton. Bench Theatre first entered the festival competition in 2006 and has been a regular contributor ever since.

AuthorMark Wakeman

Mark Wakeman (b 1972)

Mark Wakeman is an amateur author, amateur playwright, amateur actor and an amateur director. He started writing short stories, at the age of 8 and spurred on by positive comments from a teacher, was inspired to write many more. It wasn't until he went to university, however that his writing achieved wider recognition when two of his situation comedy scripts (co-written with Neil Kendall) - 'The Quiet Life' and 'Helpline' were performed by the University of North London Theatre Society. The success of these two works led to a full-length thriller, 'Undue Aggravation' being taken to Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1995. Following university, he directed his own comedy 'Terror at Blagg Castle', which was produced by Goggles Theatre Company at Portsmouth Arts Centre in 1996, and Bench Theatre has produced several of his his one-act plays; 'The Unusual Suspects', 'Ice Station Zeros', 'Father for Justice', 'Lonesome Pine', 'Unworkable', 'The Big Freeze', 'Stand and Delivery' and 'The Girl in the Corner' for various 'Supernova' festivals of new writing since 2003.

His novels (as yet unpublished) include works in the detective, comedy, thriller, fantasy and sci-fi genres and he hopes to one day see one of his screenplays for sit-coms, TV detectives or sci-fi/action-spy thrillers accepted by the BBC. As an actor, Mark Wakeman has been performing since he was at school. The first of many acting roles with Bench Theatre was Dr John Jobling in 'Martin Chuzzlewit' in 1990 and he frequently receives excellent reviews. He directed several one-act plays at University of North London Theatre Society and his first directing role with Bench Theatre was 'The Office Party' by John Godber in 1998. As a member of the Soop Theatre Company, he has performed improvisational comedy in their 'Dude, Where's My Script?' shows since 2008.

Wakeman won Best Original Play for 'Stand and Delivery' (2008) and The Madge and Stanley Williams trophy for Best Script for 'Father for Justice' (2009) both in the All-England Drama Festival. Since he joined Bench Theatre in 1990, he has been a member of both the Bench Committee and Artistic Panel, and was Editor of Bench Press for a number of years. Mark Wakeman currently has four cats and lives in Havant.

PlayStand and Delivery

Martin and Emma eagerly await the imminent birth of their first child but the Doctors have been warned that due to her high blood pressure Emma must be kept calm at all costs. Which proves to be a little difficult when an unexpected intruder bursts in upon their quiet evening in, and Martin must use all his invention to protect his wife from the truth. A comedy of Indian food, socks and pilates... but not necessarily in that order.

The Bench Competition Entry

Stand and Delivery poster image

This one-act play was staged at the Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Totton as part of the first round of the All England Theatre Festival 2008 competition and was awarded "Best Original Play". It was first performed in 2007 at Havant Arts Centre as part of Bench Theatre's festival of new writing, Supernova 4.


MartinDaryl Wakelin
EmmaJo Wakelin
SteveMark Wakeman
NickyRobin Hall
Also featuringDan Finch
Phil Gyngell
Jaspar Utley
Claire Lyne


Director Francine Huin-Wah
Producer Jaspar Utley
Crew Jaspar Utley
John Wilcox

Author's Notes

Stand and Delivery was actually inspired by a rather morbid story that a work colleague told me. It was one of those wonderful stories full of the awful details about something terrible that should never happen to anyone. Then, right in the middle of the story, was this wonderful moment of black comedy which, I'm ashamed to say, made me laugh out loud. Then I began to think... actually, that would be a fantastic scene in a comedy play, and so I built the rest of the play around that idea. I'm pleased to say that almost nothing else about the play echoes that tragic night.

Mark Wakeman