Stage Fright

Also known as 'Coup de Grace'

‘Stage Fright’ is Hawdon’s most recent comedy. Premiered in Germany in 2017.
“Hawdon fools the audience with an array of assumptions and his permutation games reach dazzlingly absurd heights.” – General Anzeiger Bonn.

The Cannes Film Festival!  Most glamorous of all cinema occasions.  In a luxury Riviera hotel the body of a beautiful film star lies prostrate.  A hooded jewel thief breaks in and discovers her.  A man bursts in and assumes the thief is the murderer.  Another man enters and assumes another story.  The film star wakes from her blackout and assumes a third story.  The hotel manager arrives and attempts to make sense of all the stories.

A huge film premiere is looming, a diamond necklace has gone missing, scandalous affairs are about to hit the headlines, everyone appears to be trying to murder someone, and everyone is blaming everyone else.  Bodies and threats and alibis abound, and the plot thickens so fast it threatens to explode.  Never has the Riviera seen such a dastardly sequence of events!  Never has Hollywood created such a catalogue of criminal conspiracies!  Could real life ever be like this, or are show-biz temperaments simply running out of control?  Bring down the curtain!


  • GRACE GERVAISE – film star
  • OSCAR GERVAISE – her husband and manager
  • ADAM – actor
  • JIMMY – jewel thief
  • HAILEY – bimbo
  • MONSIEUR BONIFACE – hotel manager



ARCH UPSTAGE to vestibule and entrance door. French windows to balcony overlooking the sea. Door off to the BEDROOM.

Louis XIV furniture. Wide sofa facing downstage. Side table beside the sofa. Large desk to one side with drawers. Table with glasses, champagne flutes, etc.


Robin Hawdon’s comedy “Glamour, Gauner und Juwelen” elates the audience with an extraordinarily enthusiastic cast of six actors who make the evening a revel of intricate logical calculation. Ever since Alfred Hitchcock had beautiful Grace Kelly and suave Cary Grant ‘Catch A Thief’ in Nice, we have known that the French Riviera is an excellent place for a jewel robbery. Its wicked reputation was renewed only a few years ago when very posh rocks worth more than 100 million Euro changed hands unlawfully at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes. Robin Hawdon’s comedy doesn’t deal with such record sums, but there is a sizeable diamond necklace which belongs to film actress Grace Gervaise, and this priceless piece has vanished, and furthermore Grace is discovered lying on a sofa, beautiful but lifeless. This story about glamour and dirty deeds during the Cannes Film Festival is a world premiere, and was enthusiastically applauded by the audience. The superficial tale of a complex criminal case involving missing diamonds and apparent attempted murder, which Hawdon weaves into his delightfully old-fashioned ‘murderous comedy’, is actually only a marginally important aspect. The author is more concerned with something more important: the enigma of reality versus outward appearance, of truth versus fiction. With Hawdon, doubt is everywhere. Everyone suspects everyone else, no-one is quite who they seem to be, even the much in evidence sexuality is often a subterfuge, and the apparent dead bodies, which turn up in considerable numbers, resemble Lazarus in that they tend to join quite soon again with all the others on stage. Hawdon fools the audience with an array of assumptions, and his permutation games reach dazzlingly absurd heights. During the course of the play we learn that film actress Grace owes her popularity mostly to second rate B-movies. Hawdon’s play, however, can be classified as a genuine A. - General Anzeiger - Bonn (translated from the German)