AWAKENING: a collection of short plays
Big Script and the Blue Orange, Birmingham
www.blueorangetheatre.co.uk: 0121 212 2643
Runs: 2h 20m, one interval, till 30 03 13
Review: Alexander Ray Edser, 28 03 13
It’s all in the mix.
AWAKENING is the second of Big Script’s presentations of short plays by Midlands Writers. Among this batch there’s plenty of variety, sparky humour and intensity; though it doesn’t have the strength of their first collection LOVE! SEX! CONFUSION!
This set gets off to a strong start with SECONDS OUT STEVIE (Tim Wright) and LOVING CUP (Martin Drury). SECONDS OUT gives us a young stand-up, Stevie, about to go on stage for his big break. He’s damaged goods, and you sense this anger is both destroying him and making him what he is. An intriguing character given a full blooded presentation, physically and vocally, by Carl Thornley – whose perceptive performances add value to all the pieces he appears in. LOVING CUP is more of a game in which Drury, telling the tale of a young woman embroiled in a round of agency arranged dates, plays with time. It’s neat and intelligent with a gentle performance by Sarah Gain – another performer it is a delight to watch.
PAIRING SOCKS (Sandra Wathall) is given a sympathetic airing by Gain – a woman returns unexpectedly and finds her husband in bed with another woman. Told in retrospect as a monologue Gain brings it vigorously to life – though you long for it to be in the present, offering a sense of journey.
A GOD SHAPED HOLE (Ian Kendall) gives us a young man mentally awakening from a coma, or in a coma, or awakening from death and talking with a doctor, or nurse, or god. Full of unanswered questions this fits the ’10 minute rule’ perfectly. Thornley plays the young man and Simon Grenville the mysterious Dennis. GOD SHAPED HOLE has the potential for a stronger ending which may disturb us more.
Gerald Kells, Tim Wright, Andy McCoy, Julia Wright, Robert Warrington, Liz John, Shakeel Mohammed, Sandra Wathall, Martin Drury, Andy Alsop, Richard Constable, John Gray. Ian Kendall, Ellen Clews
Simon Grenvill, James Parsons, Sarah Gain, Sarah Gordon, Lauren Styles, Carl Thornley, Ade Daniel Varney
Directed by: Graeme Braidwood