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Bare Bones Have No Bite

By Millie Gray


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Ishbel, the island shopkeeper, is in the shop when her long time friend and confidante Myrtle, the District Nurse, arrives to tell her a skeleton has been found in a cave. The grisly find soon throws the lives and consciences of the two douce ladies into turmoil. Both the female protagonists are astounded that each has a secret that they have kept from each other for twenty-five years. Myrtle's is that she thought she played a part in the death of her teenage sweetheart Fergus, Ishbel's brother, whereas Ishbel unfortunately knows that there is no doubt that she has the blood of her lover, Duncan, on her hands. As the play goes along we have a wonderful nonchalant combination of revelations, lies and destruction of evidence as the two women try to keep their "secrets'' from getting out. In the end, Myrtle discovers she is innocent when her victim turns up in Australia. This happy event also allows Ishbel's secret to remain buried in the cemetery and the island to keep its District Nurse and Shopkeeper. The Play was first performed at the 1996 Edinburgh Fringe by "Chameleon Theatre Company'' Directed by Erica Donald. Ishbel was played by Morag Warwick and Myrtle by Fiona Forder.