By Esin Huseyin
I wouldn’t exactly call myself a theatre critic, but I would label myself as someone who enjoys the theatre, literature, The Arts, and unfortunately so a critical person.
So last week when I was invited down to watch a showcase, I was all over it.
Bookends is the first performance from Open Page Theatre, which was only founded this year, by Artistic Director Annie Power as a theatre company that is a platform for emerging talent – cracking idea.
There were 4 writers in total who showcased their plays, and what was exciting was that they are all emerging new playwrights. The plays had a pretty wide scope of themes, so it’ll be easier to break them down individually.
This was my second time in a fringe theatre, and I have to say it’s growing on me. The audience members are usually more up for interacting, and are generally warmer, it’s a more intimate setting, and if we don’t start appreciating the fringes of art and the “newbies” who will?
Alice Springs by Sian Rowland
This play was the one that stood out to me the most prior to attending, as it’s main focus is on social media and how we engage with people through it – something that I’m fiendishly known for. Through your average stuck-in-a-rut couple, the writer and actors explored the dangers of social media, and the consequences of sharing a little too much information…
A long lost friend is introduced who rocks the couple’s world through lip-bitingly awkward personal revelations, announcing status updates regarding the couple. Albeit comical, and slightly over the top in places, the message is clear, concise and consistent in this one. It’s not the easiest topic to turn in to a light-hearted one, but you leave with a chuckle and a thought.
A Novel Approach by Annie Power
Centered around the writer and her soul-crushing moment of writer’s block, this witty and sarcastic comedy explores the inspiration from her muse and the cringe-worthy cliches imagined by the main characters, when they take matters into their own hands. This play questions the role of writers, often bitten with bitter undertones, as the muse explores and attempts to inspire ideas that are “so in”; vampires and the likes.
I have to say the actors that played the main characters grabbed the most laughs out of me, only because of the sarcasm often used – I mean that thumbs up…
The pitfalls of the writer during writing is something that most people don’t even pause for thought; it’s illuminating and a parody of the medium of writing itself, even more so when you put it on the stage.
Almost The Birthday Party by Paul Kalburgi
This seemed to grab the most laughs from the audience on the night, and it’s no wonder when you can captivate a whole room with two actors, an imaginary one, and a lamp. I have a wicked sense of humour, so it’s no wonder this dark comedy drew me in. A couple are awoken in the middle of the night, and begin to recount their slightly weird evening, which ends up with a few characters worse for wear – to say the least.
What started as an innocent way to make friends ended up as an intoxicating flurry of drama, which sucks you in, and has you laughing from the get go. Inspired by the famous Pinter play, “the birthday party”; which I must admit I missed out on some of the jokes, as I hadn’t read this play…
Four O’Clock by Matt Brothers
This play focuses around a teenage boy and his first date that hes about to experience, but then he encounters his future self, who then goes on to encounter his future self. Yes, really.
It’s the standard boy meets girl, coming of age, love story with a sci-fi element to it – which isn’t usually the type of things I’m in too. But, it was interesting to see the same story develop in three different ways right before your eyes, through the different characters. I felt that the actors had great chemistry among themselves on the stage, which made it a little easier to relate to, and funnily enough easier to see that they were the same person at different points of their life.
Written with gritty and personal humour throughout, I mean we’re all just “flesh sacks trying not to be tits”, right?!
Bookends is on at the Etcetera theatre until the 7th of December, grab your tickets here.