I like a new writing night. There’s always a sense of excitement, of experimentation, and the potential for a discovery that theatregoers crave. Even online, these events are an important part of the theatre “eco-system” nurturing talent and providing insight into creativity as well as entertainment. This monthly series – of a high standard – should be in diaries for the rest of lockdown.
There are ten performances on offer, all created by women and mostly performed by the writers themselves. A loose theme – “begin again” – works well, providing structure without constraining. Produced by The Queens of Cups (Grace O’Keefe and Erin Holland) there’s a pleasing variety with plenty of poetry. And it starts with a song! O’Keefe shows how we are all feeling with Everything Sucks – a welcome, jolly, entrée despite current conditions.
Overall, there’s a lot of angst – hardly a surprise given the state of the world – and the big topics covered tick contemporary concerns. Run is a moving, lyrical piece by Emily Hindle about mourning, Seven Years To The Day has Noga Flaishon tackle the complexities of sexual abuse and Bianca Watkins takes on environmental issues in Plan B. Only one piece addresses lockdown specifically – a pleasant surprise – and even better, Lorna O’Dea’s Smile admits the problems we have all faced while managing to be affirming.
At the risk of suggesting some Top of the Pops countdown – there really is something for everyone here – two sketches battled for my number one. Grazed Knees is a short that addresses the life-long experience of a working-class woman and shows considerable wisdom and political bite from its author and performer Elspeth McColl. Jamie Lakritz’s piece, Amissa, benefits from Meryl Griffiths’ performance, capturing an engaging character’s journey of self-discovery later in life: intriguing, moving and well-structured.
Join on Saturday or enjoy the show online for the rest of the month. And get ready for the next series on the theme ‘coming clean’.