Neighbourhood Watch

Cast: 4 male / 4 female
Running time (approximate):
2 hours 20 minutes (not including interval)
Acting edition: Available from Samuel French

At a service to open a garden in memory of her late brother, Martin, Hilda delivers a eulogy to him.

Flashback four months to Hilda and Martin holding a house-warming for the residents of the Bluebell Hill Development. As Martin checks on his gnome and Hilda’s statue of Jesus in the garden, he unsuccessfully attempts to apprehend a trespassing youth.

The neighbours arrive: former security guard Ron, the estate gossip Dorothy, unemployed engineer Gareth and music teacher Magda. Rod advises Martin of the dangers of the nearby council estate and recommends he erect a fence, despite the realisation the youth was an innocent pupil of Magda taking a shortcut home. Amy, Gareth's wife who is having an affair with Magda's husband Luther, arrives late and flirts with Martin.

Martin forms a neighbourhood watch group but the first meeting is interrupted when, in retaliation, his gnome is thrown through the window. Martin and the committee declare war.

Two weeks later, Bluebell Hill has become a gated community with security fences, armed patrols and Martin intent on reclaiming the streets. Despite his fervour and much to Hilda’s disgust, he has fallen for the temptations of Amy, who has asked him to save her.

With the media showing interest in Bluebell Hill, plans are made to prevent anyone speaking out against Martin. Luther, who has already crossed swords with Martin over the music pupil is shown to have abused Magda, who moves in with Hilda and Martin.

However, a plan to use one of the more volatile local families to control a troublemaker on the council estate goes wrong; the police arrest all but one family member who seeks retribution by setting the house next door to Martin's house alight. Hilda, convinced her statue is in danger, has Martin rescue Jesus but in doing so, he is ordered by the police to put down his ‘weapon’. Pleading his innocence but continuing to hold the statue, Martin steps out into the garden and is shot.

Despite having told Hilda of his plans to leave to set up a new life with Amy, Martin is made a martyr of the neighbourhood watch cause. Hilda, now at the helm, unveils a tribute to him at the memorial.

Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission.