Reviewing Six Plays in One Day can feel like an endurance test at times. Beginning at 2 pm and finishing at 9 pm. The range of performances kept my interest alive. Produced by Threedumb Theatre with Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts sponsoring the day hosted at The Space Theatre.
Permanent Tenants by Louis Gale an interesting idea where five housemates are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning due to their negligent landlord. The cast of six were still reading off script. With all the stage directions and prop details read out too, the production is quite a way off being finished.
The audience were informed at the end that it was destined to be a television, theatre and various other productions a long the way. Their best way forward if this piece is going to be developed would be to decide on a performance platform. Strict editing and good direction would be advised. At times, the performance descended into a disorganised shouting chaotic situation, which is one area in which good direction would help.
Chicken Pasta by Katie Read facing the “Big C” at any age is a frightening prospect. When George is a personal trainer who eats healthy, never smoked, and drinks in moderation, he has to live with the terminal bowel cancer under the age of thirty life is cruel.
Married to Cat the ups and downs of everyday life are marred by the ticking time bomb which is ever present in their lives. Potentially, the subject matter should leave the audience with at least a lump in their throat, sadly that part was missing for me.
Ophelia by Hannah Roze-Lewis advertised as a work in progress. Delivering every line with a smile Roze-Lewis describes the horrendous circumstances surrounding Ophelia’s friend Emma going missing. The damage caused by males and phone cameras, violation of privacy, and the heinous behavior of exploiting obscene images on the “darker side” of the Internet.
Unstitching by Ruby Shrimpton facts and upbeat entertainment from the world of Eurovision song contests past and present. Shrimpton’s analysis of the sometimes deemed “rigged” voting system left me looking at the contest in a different light.
There’s a platform on the Fringe Festival circuit where Upstitching will be welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed. The Eurovision Song Contest has a large following, and if the advertising is targeted correctly, Shrimpton could be playing to full auditoriums.
At Eternity’s Gate by Joseph Winder is based on Vincent Van Gogh. His brother reflects on living in the shadows of the famous artist. Selling his artwork, trying to live his own life, and the pressure he felt from his brother’s demands. An interesting insight into the brothers’ relationship.
Although, at times, it felt slow and would benefit from editing. Covering the floor of the stage with papers and props left the majority of the audience at a disadvantage from not being about to see what he working through or looking at.
Pill by Rebecca Phythian, the contraceptive pill was created to liberate women and allow them to control their bodies against unwanted pregnancies. Studies have shown that for some women, the risks to their physical and mental health issues are far too high.
Phythians’ pent-up frustration and anger directed towards the doctor during her appointments and their refusal to listen to her concerns reflected some of my own experiences with health professionals.
The information and facts delivered through Pill are more of a public information production. Colleges and Universities were the younger generations of women who could be affected by the concerns raised during this performance.
New showcase work is always unchartered territory. Out of all the pieces today, the two that stood out are Ophelia, Roze-Lewis has an incredible stage presence and delivery. The piece is well-written, compassionate, and disjointed to represent the fragility and destruction mental health creates. One actor to watch in the future.
The second is Pill, although I don’t necessarily see this work appealing to Fringe Theatre audiences on its own due to being thirty minutes. It would have a future in touring Colleges and Universities raising awareness among young women, and creating a platform for discussion around what they are putting into their bodies. It might help others recognize symptoms they are suffering from and, in some circumstances, save someone’s life. I make sure that I question everything I am offered by doctors, especially side effects, and I feel more patients should do the same.
New artists and new work benefit from showcase events like these. Giving the artists a safe platform to perform and audiences to watch up-and-coming creatives under one roof.
For more information on the day and future productions, please visit the links below.