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Burning Issues

By Millie Gray


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It's 1952. King George the Sixth has just died and so has Rachel's dissolute old dad, Gabby. However Gabby may be dead but he doesn't lie down and interacts and comments throughout the drama. Firstly he is fascinated at the antics of the long suffering Rachel as she tries to preserve the respectable family image she had built up and have him put away "nice and tidy''. Secondly he is astounded when Bella, Rachel's foster sister, keeps putting in her alcoholic tuppence worth after she has "communicated'' with the world beyond. However, when the over zealous family friend, Sandy the undertaker, arrives to arrange the fitting farewell, Gabby is nearly remorseful because he has left nothing and Rachel is in dire straits, and the supreme sacrifice of keeping up appearances will be made by Carrie, his dramatic granddaughter, the child of his heart. Yes, for poor Carrie, it appears, there will be no fairy godmother to wave a wand and produce a gown for the ball on Friday because Rachel has decided that all she has, and more, will be spent on keeping Gabby out of a pauper's grave. However in the end we discover that the undertaker is very, very enterprising. Not only does he grant debauched Gabby his last wish but he also manages to save Rachel's face by providing a funeral fit for a king. This miracle also means Cinderella does indeed go to the ball.