A gangster with a typewriter
Hi! My name is Phil Clegg and I play the part of Ben Hecht in the Saddleworth Players’ production of Moonlight and Magnolias.
This will be my fourth appearance at this delightful theatre which is always a favourite of mine. Hecht was considered, at the time, to be Hollywood’s greatest screenwriter. With his fast-paced dialogue and style of writing he was credited for completing several screenplays in a matter of hours! Unfortunately my typing skills will never match those of Ben, but I have been pleasantly surprised as to how therapeutic punching those old keys and listening to the unique sound they make on our vintage typewriter has been and has brought back many happy memories of working in a busy charging room in my early police career.
Hecht sure was a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. It was once said that those Chicago newspapermen were just gangsters using a typewriter rather than a tommy gun. He once asked his name to be removed from the credits of a movie because the director changed one of his scenes!! Although Hecht re wrote the Gone with The Wind scenes in order to condense Sydney Howard’s original screen play from six hours to three he was never credited with his contribution and the Oscar went to Howard.
Rehearsals for this production have been marvelous and, although I have known Mark for many years, this is only the second time we have shared a stage together, the first being a pantomime. He played one of the ugly sisters and re wrote several scenes in that production which would have given Sydney Howard a run for his money!! Vinnie and Lorraine I hadn’t met before and it has been a pleasure to work with them. The production crew have also been outstanding.
I am sure you will enjoy this fast paced funny and thoughtful play and hope it brings back some happy memories of one of Hollywood’s greatest films ever made. N.B. Watch how Vinnie is playing Melanie and Prissy; believe me, he deserves an Oscar!
Phill Clegg, Sep 21, 2017