THE CHESSBOARD KILLER: A Thrilling, Original Play

Pinelands Players is hosting a thrilling new play, written and directed by Graham Leverton, at their intimate Clubhouse Theatre, The Crossing, in Pinelands.

The story follows Ron Bingham, a failed screenwriter and senior lecturer at a film school in New York, played by Thomas Bowman.  After years of rejection, Ron decides to make the world “watch” as he re-enacts a screenplay that he has written. Inspired by the character in his head, Ron becomes a serial killer. However, he is not the average killer. Each of his victims represents a chess piece. His goal? To complete the set, from pawns, to rooks, to queens and kings – 32 in total. Achieving this goal would make him the most prolific serial killer in New York history.

the-chessboard-killer
Trying to put a stop to the killing spree is Detectives Joel Stringer (played by Leverton) and Vicky Conway (played by Kerryn Lloyd). Stringer is a veteran homicide detective and leads the investigation of these bizarre and random killings. With the assistance of his partner, Conway, the two try to piece together the puzzle, hoping that they’ll be able to prevent the killer from completing his goal of a full set. They watch as the killer moves from pawns (the lower classes of society) to rooks, knights and bishops (the middle and upper classes). But the question remains: who are the Kings and Queens?

In the centre of this fast-paced thriller is Richard Walker (played by Byron Hite), who is an aspiring screenwriter and a student in Ron Bingham’s class. Walker turns to Ron for mentorship, but unbeknownst to him, his mentor is a serial killer and uses Walker as a chess piece in his sick game.

“A lot of consideration has gone into staging my script; the venue is quite challenging due to its size, so we’ve had to be creative in terms of scene changes and how we portray the intricacies of the script,” says Leverton. “I actually wrote the script with the venue in mind, so we have some clever ways to assist with the scene changes, as well as to allow the plot to advance in an interesting way. This includes voice overs and some amazing music to set the tone of the play. I’m excited to finally see my script come to life on stage.”

This refreshing, original play will be running from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October. Bookings can be made by emailing pinelandsplayers@gmail.com. Tickets cost R40 and can be paid at the door.

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