Prunella Scales as Gertrude

Gertrude’s Secret, written and produced by Ben, toured for three years at venues around the UK including the Oxford Playhouse, Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House, Buxton Opera House, Chichester Minerva Theatre, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Trafalgar Studios (London), Arts Theatre, (London) and Clwyd Theatr Cymru. Casts included Prunella Scales, Natalie Cassidy, Angela Griffin and Helen Fraser.

Other plays written by Ben include Contentment and Monster.

Ben was commissioned in May 2015 by Miguel Margarido Creations SAS, Paris, to co-write a stage play, Hostages.

Natalie Cassidy as EvaSion Tudor Owen as Terence - photo by Nobby ClarkAngela Griffin as Tina - photo by Paul Coltas

This is what the press have said about Gertrude’s Secret:

“It’s not just the writing that’s impressive. Andrew Loudon’s production is finely acted throughout” ****Daily Mail

“Very dark…very real…very atmospheric – really worth seeing” – LBC

“Powerful performances” – Metro

“These are very nicely written pieces, full of character and some are very moving. Prunella Scales is great casting for the Gertrude character” – Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Fiction

“West tells each story with an earnest economy and directness of detail that is always illuminating. You could feel the raw loneliness of Maureen…while Prunella Scales’ Gertrude offers a disturbing tale of domestic abuse that she finally cracks under” – The Stage

“A real gem of a drama.” – Watford Observer

“A very tight show” – BBC Radio 4

“These monologues are pure genius – full of character and subtlety. Prunella Scales in the title role is tautly, disturbingly suburban and brilliantly convincing, but her fellow actors, shine equally brightly, in versatile and understated roles. The monologues are all natural, often funny and yet leave you open-mouthed and appalled as a shocking twist brings a darkly resonating close to each” – Josie Nolan

“Very humorous, as well as sad, and the audience listened with rapt attention. A very well observed but sad reflection on present day life” – British Theatre Guide

“Gertrude`s Secret will challenge your perceptions about theatre and indeed life itself. Very funny, very real and very moving.” – Eagle FM

“The intelligent, beautifully written script in the hands of such high-calibre actors makes this an evening to treasure.” – The Northern Echo