Close Encounters is an adaptation of local playwright Jimmie Chinn’s Trivial Pursuits, set in April 1986, which made its debut in October 2019.
The adaptation was inspired by Karen Buchanan, who had appeared in the original version at the King’s Head theatre in Richmond, and she was ably assisted in this task by Jimmie’s long term partner, Peter Slater.
Jimmie, who was a prolific author, writing for television, radio and the stage with his work Straight and Narrow also appearing in the West End, sadly died over a decade ago. His many works continue to be performed all over the world.
Work commitments, at the time of writing Trivial Pursuits, amongst them writing for Emmerdale and Coronation Street, meant that it was shelved, or in this case, placed in a drawer. With the invaluable help of Peter Slater, Karen took the opportunity of adapting this early work and lovingly creating a new version, freshening its dialogue and highlighting the characters and their situation.
‘The play is undoubtedly an homage to ‘Abigail’s Party’ in a Mike Leigh style and we hope that Jimmie would be delighted to see this second airing of something that was important in his growth as a writer at the time.’