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Plays - A Most Illuminating Tale
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Robert Wells or Mr Waters
Date: 11.17 am, Thursday 15th March, 2012
Subject: Plays
Security: Public
Tags:plays
Play 1 - Adrian Mitchell - Satie Day/Night

A loosely biographical play with music about Satie for Sylvester McCoy. He's a man I find fascinating despite knowing so little about him. Nice to fill in some blanks. The framing device of the steadfast soldier seems laboured, but the death of Socrates device remains moving.

Play 2 - Adrian Mitchell - Man Friday

The tale of Robinson Crusoe as told by Friday to his tribe as Crusoe asks to join them. I really should have read Robinson Crusoe first. I tell you something for nothing though, he wouldn't have got in to my tribe. Somewhat over hammered some points, but a very enjoyable read.

Play 3 - Gertrude Jennings - In The Black Out

A simple little 1-act comedy about a woman being mugged and then accidentally mugging someone else when she thinks she's retrieving her own bag, which all happens to take place on the night of the important dinner, when it happens that the special guest is the woman mugged at the end of that chain, and all of this during a blackout in WWII. Harmless fun, not particularly well written.

Play 4 - Marius von Mayenburg - the ugly one

Four-hander about a man who is described as phenomenally ugly and gets plastic surgery to right his face. He becomes stunningly beautiful, but neglects his job as an inventer and his wife. Then the plastic surgeon starts making everybody look just like him. Absurdist, funny, has a point but doesn't outstay its welcome. Four actors play all the parts, but all the parts each actor plays will all have the same name and there is nothing deliniating scenes or character changes, which leads to a little ambiguity but a lot of confusion. I'd like to see it in performance.

Play 5 - Gene Stone and Ray Cooney - Why Not Stay For Breakfast?

Simple 2-and-a-bit-hander about a civil servant who lives in a flat under some hippies. A heavily pregnant girl knocks on his door one night having argued with her boyfriend and over the course of two acts and about 90 minutes they argue and bond, learn about themselves and each other and eventually (spoiler alert) fall in love. Kindof. Sweet little piece for a grey man and a bright girl.

Play 6 - Steve Thompson - Roaring Trade

Stockborkers swinging their dicks around (even the girl) and trying to take each other down. I never like plots where everyone is a dick to each other, but this is well written and comes to a nice conclusion where the least dickish ends up on top (spoiler alert, it's the girl).

Play 7 - Richard Bean - in the Club

Described as a political sex farce, and it does what it says on the tin. A corrupt MEP in Strasbourg is trying to secure a deal for the Turkish to join the EU while also trying to broker support for a referendum which will scupper their chances and hoping that by playing the sides off against each other he could become president and rich. Add to this he's attempting to conceive a child with his girlfriend who is flying in for the afternoon, and the French politician who wants to jump his bones, and the UKIP MEP who wants to crash on his sofa, and the Belgian detective in disguise who is trying to take him down for fraudulent expenses claims, and the letter bombs which keep arriving, and what you have is a classic old school five door farce in the Whitehall style. Excellent.

Play 8 - Laura Wade - Alice

Alice is withdrawing from the world at the funeral for her brother. She follows the rabbit down a hole and finds herself in a magical land that is confusing and wonderful and scary. She tries to find her way out and finds herself learning about herself and dealing with the grief and growning as a person. I'm making it sound bland, but actually it works. The structure of the funeral gives Alice something to think about and gives a narrative arc to the vignettes. It isn't Alice in Wonderland on stage, but rather a play about a grieving child that makes good use of Alice.

Play 9 - Chris Hannan - The God Of Soho

Written for the Globe, this tells of the god of love and sex having a scrap with her latest beau and being sent to earth where she gets mixed up with a celebrity sex scandal and a homeless schizophrenic. Meanwhile heaven goes to shit and the big god and Mrs. god come down after her. Poetic language and a rambling storyline left me wondering what it was all meant to be about and why I should care, although it probably looked pretty cool on stage.

I'm having a break from plays to read George Gipe's novel of Gremlins, which is bad. I knew it would be. I've been reading btothef_rss and I wanted to see if Gipe could screw up any film he turned his hand to.
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