Neighbourhood Watch is Alan Ayckbourn's 75th play and was commisioned by the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in 2010.
Christian Brother and Sister, Martin and Hilda, have recenly moved into their new home on the Blebell Hill Development and have arranged a house warming party for the residents. Martin Massie opens the play as a mild mannered, middle aged, harmless chapwho has a habit of boring people with pointless stories about garden shrubbery. His prized possesion is a garden gnome, which he has named.
Whilst looking out of the windowat his gnome and Hilda's statue of Jesus in the garden, Martin sees a young boy he assumes to be trespassing.
The neighbours arrive: former security guard Ron, the estate gossip Dorothy, unemployed engineer Gareth and music teacher Magda. A decision is made to set up a neighbourhood watch group. When the group decide to go ahead without the involvement of any police officers, the previousley quiet inhabitants of Bleubell Hill become vigilant and the play takes a darker turn.
One character, Rod suggests putting a ten foot fence between the garden and the housing estate, saying "They'll be walking in and out of here all day long otherwise, riff raff and vermin"
What starts out as a well-intentioned neighbourhood watch scheme soon develops into something altogether more sinister.
Directed by John Howarth