Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fuses,PLAYlist -Review- Live Theatre

Live Theatre
9 March 2012

Ahh the lovely intimate setting of Live Theatre on a Friday night. Mixing with the best in creative minds this side of the West End, is far flung from what I normally get up to on a night like this..kicking my shoes off and settling for a night of soaps, pizza and whatever DAVE has to offer in the comedy stakes.
Fuses is Live's 2012 new writing festival, with artists up and down the country submitting superb works of art.
PLAYlist is the opening night segment to this week long festival, pairing Live Theatre with Theatre503 of London.
Six playwrights are given the chance to write a play inspired by a song from their region. The play in question must be no longer that the song itself.
The format of the evening was that the play would come on, the actors would do their thing, then as soon as it was finished the band/artist that the play was based on would pop up on a projector at the back of the stage.I must make an apology here and say that I am not up to date with my modern music, nor do I often look at lyrics of a song and know what it is all about, gone are the days of buying vinyl, scanning the lyrics on the bus on the way home, then instantly knowing what the song was about. I think all of this left me circa 1990.
So being confronted by six bands/artists that I knew little of, never mind listened to was always going to be an uphill task for me.
Indelible by Hannah Mulder, was a play set in a tattoo artist's shop, with a lovesick man wanting his newly acquainted girlfriends name scribed on his body. The receptionist quite rightly so reeling off question after question, trying to get our man to think about what he was doing, throwing very humourous statistics in his direction for him to digest.
You Should Be Happy by Joe Harbot, had a very distressed woman, grieving over the loss of a loved one, being 'comforted' by a not so tactful friend, who tried his best, but in a very manly way full of the joys of spring, even the offering of scrumptious ice cream couldn't get her out of her one way tunnel for one minute. A very emotive play that hit home how it must be to have loved and to have lost.
Last Night by Corinne Salisbury, showed us a group of teenagers drinking around one of their favourite places to hang out, that is soon to be re-designed and lost forever. The world is constantly changing and we have to make way for the 'better', even if it means sacrifice. Memories will always last though.
Collision by Laura Lindow, was a very interesting piece, and to be honest again, one that I didn't really understand. A man and a woman talking crouched over a light, almost in a dreamlike fashion, not sure of where or why they were there. The woman needed to be reassured that everything was ok, a bit puzzling for me I must admit.
Wild Wood by Matt Hartley, has us focused on a man and his one night out away from his screaming baby and even more screaming pregnant wife, he was looking forward to getting away from them for just a few hours, but his better half was having none of this, history could have repeated itself with a war of words coming from her suggesting that he mightn't come home..or come back at all.
Quantum Runaway by Tracey Whitwell, started out with a man building a time machine, wrench in hand, toiling to get the thing working, after a break in at his home we soon understood why he needed to disappear, he was being stalked by an ex girlfriend who just wouldn't take no for an answer. After a furious discussion, with him telling her of his plans, she said that he didn't need to do that as she had met somebody else. This changed him totally, with his emotions now coming into play, not wanting her to leave. A total role reversal.

The cast who were all new on me, really got the bit between their teeth, all spot on performances by Letty Butler, Iddon Jones, Jason Langley and Kate Sichel, with production coming from Sophie Watson and direction by Derek Bond, this was a great night of entertainment.
All of these plays were in bite sized form, which had me wanting more and more. It is amazing how much talent is out there. A lot of this talent will be displayed during the rest of this festival, so I would highly recommend booking a seat at any of the productions on offer.

Michael Hunter

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  1. Hi Michael

    Really enjoyed the post. One minor amendment - Collision and Wild Wood are the wrong way round. Laura Lindow's play had the man and the woman crouched over a light and Matt Hartley's young man was on his way out for the night.

    Best wishes

  2. Ahhh....Thanks Degna, that is what you get when you don't take notes..crazy man.. haha..Thank you so much for pointing that out to me, and for your comments.