(WITNESS PROTECTION ACTORS)
created by Lulu McClatchy and Perri Cummings
A six part hour-long drama series, part black comedy, part thriller and
part modern day car crash style tragedy. The Love Boat meets The Sopranos.
It’s sing and dance or die.
A family in witness protection ends up being placed as entertainers on a cruise ship. Hiding more than just their new identities, the only way to escape the men chasing them is to face an audience – it’s a toss up which terrifies them more.
The Campbell’s, a hard working family who have their own laundry business in a very dodgy end of town. Right in the middle of where the toughest Mafioso runs their own business, destroying lives and making big bucks. One night while working late the Campbell family end up witnessing first hand the kind of ruthless and cutthroat world they are in the middle of. They see five men
massacre a whole restaurant of people. And their loving father and husband is
killed in the crossfire. Now, the Campbell family is placed in Witness
Protection, but due to two officers who are long over due a holiday, they end up with new identities and placed as entertainers on a luxury cruise liner. With
little talent and no experience they must learn to sing and dance overnight or
risk being discovered by the mob who will do anything to stop them testifying.
The seemingly average Campbell family is, like any dysfunctional clan, all hiding life altering secrets. Now forced to live and work together twenty-four hours a day, with no means to escape, it is only a matter of time before the truth starts leaking out.
While preparing for their first show, petty resentments and jealousies resurface, as they are forced to work together. Only made worse as talent is discovered in the most unlike places. Youngest son, Toby is enjoying being away from the laundry, the family used to own and run, and is eager to explore his creative side proving to have a gift for choreography.
While the older son Frank is using his new position to personally “audition” the showgirls. But his style of auditioning proves a little rough and he’s far to stupid to cover his own tracks so he bullies his younger brother into cleaning up his mess as usual. A job the normally squeamish and timid Toby handles like a ruthless professional.
Shy and lonely, Aunt Veronica has never had a chance to shine until now. But if she takes her rightful place front and centre, her sister and matriarch of the family, Connie, will do anything to steal her glory and make Veronica’s life a
misery in the process. But finding her latent talent unleashe something in Veronica; she is no longer the willing doormat and may even hatch a plan to bring down her sister, in the most spectacular and humiliating way possible – after all they are now in the spotlight!
But Veronica’s nightmares about that horrific night, threaten to bring the show to a standstill when she sees the faces of the murderers in the crowd. But is fear causing her to hallucinate, as Connie insists feeding her a Molotov cocktail for psychiatric drugs to get her onto the stage, or are their pursuers closer than they think? How can you run when there is nowhere to run
Not shying away from violence, WPA also shows the aftermath, far from glorifying brutality it works as a shocking reminder of what we are capable of. Made even more chilling by the fact the pain is often inflicted on those the character claims they love the most. It examines what is a family and what it can degenerate into.
Set in the light and frothy world of cruise ship entertainment this is no sugar coated Glee, this is not an easily digested show with a few catchy show tunes easily forgotten. It’s the drama that will force an audience to pay attention. WPA is a vicious guessing game, as the truth is slowly revealed, with each character carrying their own life changing secret. The power constantly shifts in the family as discoveries are made and retaliation sort.
Ultimately it’s a show about how we lie to each other and how we lie to ourselves.