Let Me Finish!

Written by Various Authors

Tuesday 20th July to Saturday 24th July 1993

Directed by Members of Bench Theatre

A mix of solo performances given by members of Bench Theatre.

AuthorsThe Authors

Peter Barnes (1931 - 2004)

Peter Barnes was an Olivier Award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His most famous work is the play 'The Ruling Class', which was made into a 1972 film for which Peter O'Toole received an Oscar nomination. Other plays include 'Leonardo's Last Supper', 'The Bewitched', 'Laughter!' and 'Red Noses'. He also received an Oscar nomination himself for his screenplay 'Enchanted April' and briefly became somewhat notorious in 2000, for being a first-time father at the age of 69.

Harold Pinter (1930 - 2008)

Harold Pinter was a Nobel Prize winning author whose prolific career spanned more than 50 years and produced 29 original stage plays, 27 screenplays, poetry, a novel and other short works. His best-known plays include 'The Birthday Party', 'The Caretaker', 'Betrayal' and 'The Homecoming' and many of his works are famous for his use of theatrical pauses and silences. He was given 20 honorary degrees, and numerous awards and prizes for his work during his lifetime, but famously declined a knighthood in 1996. The literary archive of his work is kept at the British Library.

John Scadding

John Scadding is amateur actor, director and playwright with Bench Theatre during his membership (from 1972). As an actor, his first role with Bench Theatre was in John van Druten's 'I Am a Camera'. The first play produced by Bench theatre which was written by John Scadding, was 'Cinderella' in 1975. He is currently a life-member of the company.

Dario Fo (b 1926) and Franca Rame (b 1928)

Dario Fo is the 1997 Nobel Laureate in Literature whose most famous works include the plays 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist' and 'Can't Pay? Won't Pay!' (both Bench productions). He is also director, stage and costume designer, and on occasion he even composes the music for his plays.

France Rame, his leading actress (and wife since 1954) has assisted in and contributed to the writing of many of the plays they have produced in their 50+ years of theatre together. She has also assumed administrative and organisational responsibility for the Fo-Rame Company.

Sir Arnold Wesker (b 1932)

Arnold Wesker is a prolific playwright known for his contributions to kitchen sink drama who was knighted in 2006. He is the author of 42 plays, 4 volumes of short stories, 2 volumes of essays and other assorted writings. His plays have been translated into 17 languages and performed worldwide and his best-known works include 'Chicken Soup with Barley', 'Roots', 'Chips with Everything' and 'The Friends'.

Andrew Vachss (b 1942)

A US crime-writer and lawyer who now specialises in representing children, Vachss was christened "Lord of the Asphalt Jungle" by the The Washington Post for his crime novels. He is the author of numerous novels, including the Burke series; two collections of short stories; and a wide variety of other material including song lyrics, poetry and graphic novels. A lover of dogs, he is also a passionate advocate against animal abuse.

PlaysLet Me Finish!

Confessions of a Primary Mental Receiver and Communicator: NUM III Mark I - by Peter Barnes

If the man on the seat next to you is a Master of the Galaxy, what might he be thinking of you? This short play is from a series of 8 monologues called 'Barnes's People'. First published in 1989, this play was originally produced on radio and performed by Alec Guinness.

Monologue - by Harold Pinter

This striking piece was first performed by Henry Woolf on TV in 1973. In this ghostly, wistful reverie a solitary man is besieged by memories of old times when he and his 'best mate' were both lovers of a black girl who transferred her affections from one to the other. But in Pinter nothing, fortunately, is straightforward. A reflection on past events that might have happened, that did happen and that should have happened.

The Havant Mysteries - by John Scadding

The year of Our Lord 1350, and the town of Havant still has no Mystery Cycle - but Brother Thomas means to change all this. 'Adam and Eve', 'The Three Shepherds' and 'The Three Maries' are three further tales which are "believed to be a genuine forgeries" and which first came to the notice of the people of Havant after Bench Theatre's 1984 production of the memoirs of a certain Brother Peter de Quincy of Westbourne Abbey.

Medea - by Dario Fo and Franca Rame (translated by Gillian Hanna, adapted by Ed Emery & Christopher Cairns)

Derived from Euripidean Tragedy. In a howl of rage Medea kills her own children in the painful awareness that they are the link of a chain which society hangs around the neck of women. A Medea for our times. This is a Medea abandoned and in despair, but who comes to realise that she is a victim of centuries of male oppression rather than a pawn in the hands of the Fate.

Four Portraits - of Mothers - by Arnold Wesker

One is unmarried, one thinks she has failed, one is Mother to the Earth and one never was. This series of monologues was written in 1982 and shows a quartet of women revealing their very different responses to motherhood. These four finely drawn pieces are usually played by one actor, but in this case, Bench Theatre is able to show the formidable talents of two of its long-standing female members.

Placebo - by Andrew Vachss

The Janitor "knows how to fix things", but how is he going to fix the monsters in Tommy's head? This chilling monologue touches on Vachss' recurring themes of abused children and those who commit the most heinous of crimes. This play was published in 1991 in Antaeus, a quarterly literary magazine - a reworking of a story Vachss originally had published in the early 1970s.

The Bench Production

Let Me Finish! poster image

These plays were staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977. Benech Theatre went on to stage Medea again in 2002 as part of the 'Female Parts' set of monologues.


Confessions of a Primary Mental Receiver and Communicator: NUM III Mark I

Edward Charles LillyDavid Penrose


ManJohn O'Hanlon

The Havant Mysteries

Brother ThomasJohn Scadding


MedeaCatherine Bates
Directed ByVincent Adams

Four Portraits - of Mothers

Ruth (as unmarried mother)
Naomi (as mother who never was)
Nicola Scadding
Miriam (as failed mother)
Deborah (as mother earth)
Ingrid Corrigan


The JanitorAlan Jenkins
Directed ByAndrew Caple


Director Members of Bench Theatre
Lighting Andrew Caple
Sound Recording John O'Hanlon
Poster Design Pete Woodward
Front of House Sally Hartley

Production Photographs

Confessions of a Primary Mental Receiver and Communicator: NUM III Mark I


The Havant Mysteries


Four Portraits - of Mothers