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A new writing career after retirement?
WHEN Terry Hammond, pictured, took early retirement six years ago he felt he needed a new hobby to keep his brain active.
But rather than throwing himself into Sudoku or other brain training pastimes he decided to write a full-length play.
And the 66-year-old from Netley Abbey is delighted that it has been published.
Now he is looking forward to it being performed for the first time when local amateur dramatics group the Hamble Players premiere it next month.
“I had had some experience in drama having been a member of the Hamble Players for many years,” says the former director of a mental health charity.
“I got the idea for my play, Ten Rods, from a friend who told me a funny story about how a new allotment holder had upset the old timers on his allotment. I thought this had the making of a comedy, so I started to work on a plot.
“I worked on it for several years and produced a few drafts. Being mildly dyslexic, I have problems with words and language at times which slows me down somewhat.”
When Terry finally finished his play last year, his wife and friends encouraged him to send it to a publisher and he decided to give it a go.
“I contacted Hampshire Publishers Lazybees. They asked for a script and I was really amazed when they rang me back within days to say they really liked it and would publish it!”
Ten Rods is a black comedy. It is set on an allotment and tells the tale of Walter, Alf and Joe’s feud with their new neighbour, Shadbolt.
When the old chaps discover that Shadbolt is undertaking criminal activity and is being violent towards his girlfriend who they are fond of, they decide that the world would be a better place without the likes of him.
But Shadbolt’s nasty past catches up with him complicating their plans.
“I realised that I needed to look for a theatre company to premier Ten Rods and the obvious candidate was The Hamble Players,” says Terry.
“We had a read through one evening and everyone thought it was great and would make a good autumn production.
“If Ten Rods goes well, I hope one of the professional companies might be interested. I also think it would make a good film. But if anything exciting happened in this area I suspect I will be in an old people’s home by then!”
- Ten Rods will be performed at Hamble Village Memorial Hall, 24 to 28 September. Tickets can be bought online at hambleplayers.ticketsource.co.uk or telephone 023 8046 2533.
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