Intricate, fascinating and deeply satisfying to the last page -- another classic Robert Goddard mystery. Actor Toby Flood, formerly of big and small screen but now seldom seen on either, arrives in Brighton with the other cast members of the Joe Orton play Lodger in the Throat. They have been on tour since September, but hopes of a West End transfer have been abandoned and they are all looking forward to the end of the run the following Saturday. Flood is visited that night by his estranged wife, Jenny, now living with wealthy entrepreneur Roger Colborn. Jenny runs a shop in the Lanes and is worried about a strange man who is hanging around outside. Roger has dismissed her concerns but Jenny persuades Toby, for old times' sake, to do something. The next day Flood trails the man and confronts him. Derek Oswin is an unemployed loner who blames Roger Colborn for his father's death from cancer on account of dangerous practices at the now-closed plastics factory run by Roger and his late father, Sir Walter Colborn.
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April 24, 2006
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Excerpt from Play to the End by Robert Goddard
What I felt as I got off the train this afternoon wasn ' t what I ' d expected to feel. The journey had been as grim and tardy as I suppose it was bound to be on a December Sunday. Most of the others have chosen to go via London and they won ' t be coming down here until tomorrow. I could have joined them. Instead I volunteered for the slow South Central shuffle along the coast. I had plenty of opportunity to analyse my state of mind as a seamless succession of drab back gardens drifted past the grimy train window. I knew why I hadn ' t gone up to London, of course. I knew exactly why bright lights and brash company weren ' t what the doctor had ordered. The truth is that if I had fled to the big city, I might never have made it to Brighton at all. I might have opted out of the last week of this ever more desperate tour and let Gauntlett sue me if he could be bothered to. So, I came the only way I could be sure would get me here. Which it did. Late, cold and depressed. But here. And then, as I stepped out onto the platform . . .
That feeling is why I ' m talking into this machine. I can ' t quite describe it. Not foreboding, exactly. Not excitement. Not even anticipation. Something slipping between all three, I suppose. A thrill; a shiver; a prickling of the hairs on the back of the neck; a ghost tiptoeing across my grave. There wasn ' t supposed to be anything but a protraction of a big disappointment waiting for me in Brighton. But already, before I ' d even cleared the ticket barrier, I sensed strongly enough for certainty that there was more than that preparing a welcome for me. More that might be better or worse, but, either way, was preferable.
I didn ' t trust the sensation, of course. Why would I I do now, though. Because it ' s already started to happen. Maybe I should have realized sooner that the tour was a journey. And this is journey ' s end.
The tapes were my agent ' s idea. Well, a diary was what she actually suggested, back in those bright summer days when this donkey of a play looked like a stallion that could run and run and the mere prospect merited a lunch at the River Caf ' . A chronicle of how actors refine their roles and discover the deeper profundities of a script before they reach the West End is what Moira had in mind. She reckoned there might be a newspaper serialization in it to supplement the two thou a week Gauntlett is ever more reluctantly paying me. It sounded good. (A lot of what Moira says does.) I bought this pocket audio doodah on the strength of it, while the Cloudy Bay was still swirling around my thought processes. I ' m glad I did now.