Six short plays, written and directed by the students, were mostly very well-written and captivating. A few aspects were hard to swallow but it was overall great viewing.
The first was “Wishes”, written and directed by Eddy Hurst. It was a somewhat awkward concept about a genie who grants three wishes to a ‘pessimistic slob’. It’s a moral tale of how success, money and sex cannot make you happy. It was painful at times, with an overly ‘sassy’ genie wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses attempting to be dry and sarcastic as she interrupts a masturbating protagonist to grant him three wishes. It’s left open to interpretation whether the enchanted object he rubbed is actually his penis, but either way it was a Jaqueline Wilson/Aesop’s Fables medley gone wrong.
The second of the plays made for far more pleasant viewing. ‘The Advisory Board’ shows a devil and an angel trying to score points on each other. It was light-hearted and funny, well scripted and well acted. The obnoxious devil secretly watching Coronation Street was a highlight, and the witty, ‘jokes on the atheists’ ending was well timed and very funny.
‘Stuck’ was my personal favourite. Poppy Pedder playing a homeless girl absolutely stole the show. Written and directed by Heather Morgan, it was an apt depiction of three lonely people who were all at crises in their lives. Ironically it’s the homeless girl that seems the happiest, and brings them all together.
‘Wrong’, (an apt title) written by Elliot Hughes and directed by Anoushka Bonwick can be described as awkward at best. ABreakfast Club-esque theme of three rioters and a shop assistant stuck in a shop they’ve just ransacked. As they get to know each other the familiar check list of ‘smack head’, ‘my dad died’, ‘I’m a prostitute’ and the more unconventional ‘I’m a born-again Muslim’ made it predictable and cheesy. The ending somewhat redeemed it as two audience members seemingly tried to stop the show, saying that it was giving reason to mindless rioting, but in the end it was all an act and only added to the wannabe ‘shock’ factor of the whole debacle.
The last two plays redeemed the evening. ‘The Letter’ was a touching story of two old men, both desperately lonely and stuck in miserable marriages, finding each other through letters – one is a scam artist and the other falls for the scam. It was well-scripted, very funny and was a truly touching play. ‘Kurt Leherty: Private Eye’ was a film noir parody with puppets. This could be hard to pull off but it was done very well. The American accents were well executed and the outcome was a witty murder mystery where the hero was in fact the killer.