Rude Awakening
the story
Denholm Elliot The story of Rude Awakening focuses on Estate Agent Norman Shenley played by the late British actor Denholm Elliot (left) who is trapped in a recurring nightmare. His only ally throughout is his attractive secretary Lolly with whom he seems to be having an affair (shown here with Norman).

At work one morning, a gentleman by the name of Mr. Rayburn asks Norman to perform an appraisal on Lower Moat Manor, a run down old manor house. Norman drives to the house - no one answers the door but it opens. Norman is scared witless when he hears a voice from the dumb waiter telling him that "You shouldn't have done it Norman, You shouldn't have killed your wife". Norman asks when he was supposed to have killed her. The dumb waiter replies "Friday 13th", but Norman argues that he couldn't have because todays the ??th. The suit of armour start to attack him, then he wakes up in bed having a nightmare.

Each morning that Norman goes to work Lolly is dressed up in a different provocative outfit, her appearance drastically different to the last - a punk look, then a schoogirl and a leggy blond. When he tells Lolly of his visits to Lower Moat Manor, she doesn't have a clue what he's talking about, but Norman tells her that the house is there one minute, then its not, his dead wife in the dumb waiter and the steamy moment in the telephone box ! He puts it all down to a bizarre nightmare

During another nightmare he takes Lolly to a block of flats for a building appraisal but they get stuck on the roof when demolition of the building begins. They manage to prise the door open and run down the stairs, but Lolly turns the wrong way and falls to her death down the elevator shaft.

Another great moment is when Norman has to go to hospital for an operation. He's lying on the operating table but he's conscious although the surgeon and his team are not aware. He's pronouced dead and is wheeled to the mortuary, still conscious. The surgeon and his staff slide him into the mortuary freezer then remove their operating masks. Its Mr. Rayburn, Lolly and his wife. They start laughing hysterically.

The nightmares are so real that Norman can't distibguish between dreams and reality. He is obsessed with Lolly and doesn't have a good relationship with his wife. She is constantly nagging him and suspects his affair with Lolly. Norman keeps asking for a divorce, but is this reality or not ?

Norman wakes one morning, completely refreshed and carefree. He suffocates his wife to death and then merrily goes off to work. Lolly is dressed very conservatively compared to her previous appearances and is offended when Norman attempts to kiss her, but he thinks its all and act to tease him. Mr. Rayburn then comes into the estate agents and introduces himself as a police detective. He asks Norman about his wife and if she was alive when he left for work this morning. Norman, believing he is still in a dream, tells Rayburn that he killed her but that this is all a dream and he'll wake up soon and his wife will be there nagging him. Rayburn arrests Norman, but Norman tells him that he can't have killed his wife because its not the ??th, and asks Lolly to confirm todays date.
remaining wording to be added shortly

the cast
Norman Shenley/Denholm Elliot Lolly/Lucy Gutteridge Rayburn/James Laurenson Mrs Shenley/Pat Heywood Lady Strudwick/Eleanor Summerfield
Norman Shenley
Denholm Elliot
Lucy Gutteridge
Mr. Rayburn
James Laurenson
Emily Shenley
Pat Heywood
Lady Strudwick
Eleanor Summerfield
Dr Melbury/Gareth Armstrong Maid/Patricia Mort
Dr Melbury
Gareth Armstrong
Patricia Mort

  Production details for Rude Awakening
Gerald Savory
Peter Sasdy

transmission information
    27th September 1980 (UK ITV)

screen shots
Denholm Elliot Denholm Elliot Operating Table Lower Moat Manor Rayburn the Hang Man
Norman in phone box outside lower moat manor Norman sees a ghost Norman on the operating table Lower Moat Manor Rayburn as a butler hanging Norman
Norman gets arrested for murder
Norman gets arrested for murder

location guide Film locations used in Rude Awakening

Finally found Lower Moat Manor !
After many years of wondering where on earth this could be I have discovered the whereabouts of the location used for Lower Moat Manor. Its Scottswood Hill just outside Thame. Go here to have a look

Shenley's estate agency was a shop in Great Missenden, near the train station. The shop is now a gentelmens barbers and the shop next door is an estate agents - I wonder if they know !

Greenham Close, London SE1 was the location of the block of flats being demolished (They actually have been). Thanks to Anthony McKay for spotting this location.

The hospital scenes were filmed in Chesham Cottage Hospital (now derelict). Thanks to Moyb Ullah for letting me know about this location. He found it in a shooting script for the episode that he aquired on Ebay.

The interior shots of Lower Moat Manor were filmed in the Main Hall of Hampden House (thanks to Andy Pagin for confirmation).

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