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Playbites 2009

Rehearsed reading of 6 short works in the Circle Bar, by Writers at Oxford Playhouse & Oxford Actors' Network. Incl. new works by Stuart Lee, Joel Kaye & Sue North
Oxford Playhouse, lunchtimes

February 3, 2009
“Waiting”, Tuesday 3rd February 2009
This was a delightful way to spend lunchtime on a wintry day. I watched six short plays of variety and quality by members of the Writers at Oxford Playhouse Group performed by seven gifted actors of average height from the Oxford Actors Network. The plays were all interesting and engaged the audience that had crowded into the Circle Bar at the Playhouse.

The first one, Waiting for God Knows What by David Olsen even brought the audience into the action, questioning existentially what we were all doing there/here. This was followed by the eponymous Waiting, by Gwilym Scourfield, a sad vignette about pregnant Maria, who was waiting in vain for her fiancé to return from some theatre of war. The next one up, The Intricate Workings of a Sherbet Lemon by Stuart Lee, clearly had the catchiest title, and was probably the most cleverly scripted: it is a tale of a railway station waiting room murder with a bittersweet ending (sorry!).

Betty’s Bakery Shop by Diana Moore featured the formidable Betty, a fierce shopkeeper about whom I should like to know more, if only for the dubious recipe of her Scotch Pies. Then The Lonely Stranger by Sue North, another thoughtful piece, which carefully followed the creative writing mantra by showing and not telling in an all-too-brief glimpse into the alienation of homelessness.

Finally, we were given We Carry On by Joel Kaye, an upsetting but powerful piece about infidelity and betrayal, which was very moving. It is quite amazing how much can be put across to an audience in such a short time. The plays were skilfully directed by Sarah Dodd and Gerard Robinson.

I rejoined the hubbub of Oxford after just over an hour of splendid entertainment, reflecting that I could warmly recommend future Playbites to readers. The cost of admission (just a fiver) included a good sandwich and a passable coffee. The next one is on 3rd of April at 1.00pm.
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