‘The Beautiful Warmth’ is Adam Gilmour‘s debut play as writer and performer. Gilmour won a commission through To The Stage in March 2014 to produce and perform this play at Sale’s Waterside Arts Centre.
Set in Whitworth, Lancashire in 1989, we follow TK as he struggles to make a crucial sale for his uncle’s fireplace company.
Here’s a little taster off of YouTube. (You will be convinced to buy tickets. Do not buy tickets. It happened 3 days ago. If you have a time machine however that is a whole different kettle of fish and you should indeed buy tickets. But I digress. Watch the video).
I first heard about this play in March 2014, when I popped along to The Waterside Arts Centre in Sale for an evening of new theatre. There were not one, not two but FIVE writers all there with some original works in tow. Oh, the tension! The competition! The many many wines … Each writer had ten minutes to showcase their work. Some writers literally showed the first ten minutes of their play, others gave a very condensed version of their play and one (Gilmour) sold their play in the form of a presentation. I have to say that I had gone along to support brilliant writer and script-writing guru, Emma Hill. Her play was very brilliant FYI. You should check her out. Not in a pervy way. In a look-how-very-talented-she-is kind of way. (You’re welcome Emma. I usually settle these transactions with cake).
If you’re a Lancashire Lass (and/or Lad) like myself, there isn’t much to complain about with this play. I do love to hear our beautiful regional utterances on stage for a change. But aside from that, it was also very darkly comedic. My favourite kind. TK (Gilmour) is a happy-go-lucky chap. Yes, he’s somewhat deluded in his selling abilities but he sure has pluck, ambition and determination. And powerpoint slides. Lots of powerpoint slides. My favourite thing about TK is his opening mantra, which sees him through most things; “Hello! Bonjourno! Mais Oui!” (pronounced “Mez Wee” obviously).
Then we have TK’s uncle. Slightly scary chap; brandishes a suitcase, likes short shorts and a bandana, you know the type. Then there’s the office rival, Lucky. At first glance, Lucky is just your run-of-the-mill over confident salesman. We learn some interesting things about him later on, particularly with reference to past liaisons with Rena. Along with Tom, Rena lives in the only house in Whitworth without one of ‘The Beautiful Warmth’s product. Tom has recently been made redundant and fills his days proofreading newspapers, until a certain salesman comes a-knockin’. The unravelling of Lucky and Rena’s relationship and the formation of Rena and Tom’s relationship is explored with some surprising twists along the way. In and amongst, we have a sliver of the surreal with Kylie, an actress hired for an advert gone wrong. Very wrong.
I was two in 1989 so I’m not at liberty to comment on the authenticity of the play. However, I did enjoy the realistic relationships portrayed under the dark dome of the all powerful fireplace business. The one house, marked in blue in a town of red dots, filled with such drama and history! Very exciting. I also very much enjoyed the stylish changeovers in between scenes. 80s music, hooded stage hands with questionable dance moves, sunglasses indoors. Very good.
I was intrigued to see the end product of ‘The Beautiful Warmth’ after seeing the initial “sell”. I was not disappointed. Lets have more events that celebrate new writers in the North! We have so many amazing theatres and venues here that should really be filled with local talent. (As well as a classic musical or two obvs.)
I look forward to Check Shirt Theatre‘s next production. Keep writing Mr Gilmour.