Developed by Broken Silence Theatre for the digital segment of the Brighton Fringe Festival, Fragments is a triple bill of short audio plays celebrating playwrights from Sussex and the South East of England. Covering topics such as doubts and pressure, belonging and loss, each of the plays gets under the skin of the raw emotions that are seldom candidly talked about in public.
While the title of Jasmine Lee-Jones’ play is provocative by anyone’s standards, there is more to it than meets the eye.
Ask anybody about the rights of disabled people, and most would say in principle that they should be given every opportunity to live life to the fullest. But given this assumption, why is it so hard to imagine that they are interested in dating – and all that that entails?
During one’s formative years, it’s not uncommon to ‘fall in love’ with a pastime or something that inspires a lifelong ‘passion’. For some, it is Britney Spears.
Female-led theatre covers every topic imaginable, but one subject that you would expect to be insightful is what’s motherhood REALLY like.
Halloween season is once more upon us and the London Horror Festival has plenty of macabre productions to satisfy the most dedicated aficionado. One show that stands out from the rest online is Blind by Ryots Productions.
Parodies of familiar tales are a well-loved staple of comedic storytelling. Everyone from the Carry On films to Spike Milligan and Mel Brooks have successfully employed this strategy, often injecting social satire into the mirth.
Every person who has ever been diagnosed with cancer asks at some point “What do I do now?” and “How can I carry on?” While the ‘tropes’ of behaviour post-diagnosis are familiar to people as the five stages of grief, there is a world of difference between being ‘intellectually aware’ of such things and ‘living in the thick of it’…
During the 20th century, absurdism and surrealism surfaced in literature to make pertinent points about human nature and ‘the real world’. Prime examples include Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and by George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In both cases, anthropomorphism features – a state of affairs that is tonally ‘taken for granted’.
Written by Peter Mulligan, Loop examines different philosophical outlooks one might have and how they ‘help’ (or not) with expectations of life.
In keeping with its nuanced writing, Colour shows how people of all backgrounds are susceptible to feigning civility, using acts of ‘kindness’, ‘politeness’ and even smiling to hide their innermost thoughts and feelings.
Originally conceived in 2018, the House of Blakewell’s Everything Is Absolutely Fine is a fitting show to usher in theatre for 2021 and prescient in the way it broaches mental health issues.
An anthology of female-led black comedy, Obscenities (which is written by Venetia Twigg and Will Nash) is evidence of theatre’s ability to adapt to our current Covid restrictions. Split into three short episodes, each segment is underpinned by characters who find themselves in uncomfortable situations.
At the start of 2020, Southwark Playhouse commissioned five playwrights to pen brand new short plays for performance by the Elders Company, its weekly drama group for anyone aged 65 and over.
Written by Lorna Wells and directed by Aisling Gallagher, Illusions of Liberty focuses on Liberty Jones (Corinne Walker) – a young cellist who has just had test results from doctors regarding her general state of ‘lethargy’.
First performed on stage in 2015, (Fire) Embers (Ash) – which is written and directed by Hailey Mashburn – has been reimagined as an audio play for 2021.
As part of the digital Living Record Festival Covert Firmament’s contribution includes 40 separate plays and films, which are written and directed by Dan Horrigan. These include three audio plays – monologues that are very different to each other in terms of subject matter, but also in their execution.
To all the artistic directors out there, let’s have more plays like S-27 at the Finborough Theatre that have something to say about the world today.
Originally performed in Edinburgh in 2019, Caroline Horton’s All Of Me returns in two different formats – as an interactive digital version hosted on gaming platform Twine and as an audio version on Soundcloud. This particular review focuses on the audio incarnation of the show in November.
While the play addresses the hopes and fears of those seeking to escape destitution (and achieve a better life), much like the fairy tale it mimics, Caperucita through its choreography and poetic use of language evokes a Lorca-esque quality to the proceedings.