Storm by Lita Doolan
‘I killed him with a fucking fried breakfast’
This play features four characters who have each lost a loved one on an ill-fated Air France flight which has disappeared en route from Rio – a mother (Paulina Peters), a friend (Julie Tallis), a pilot (Tim Goldman) and an air hostess (Holly Berry – not, as it turned out, Halle Berry as my guest was hoping).
All four characters’ stories overlap in some way with the reveals gradually developing throughout the play. The grieving mother is the only character who never strays off their original course, but the other three characters all have separate plot developments – the air hostess and the pilot’s revelations are a good insight into the games and politics of airline staff, but their stories are rather weak in comparison to the friend – it is this character (played with real nervy energy by the excellent Julie Tallis) who really developed unexpectedly and gave the play a twist, given our modern obsession with reality stars and where the line is drawn between real life and fiction.
All four actors delivered their monologues convincingly although there were a few first night overlaps, but overall this is a good script about a contemporary issue which affects any of us who has ever – or has a loved one who has – flown: the decisions made by the airlines that have our lives in their hands.
Pork by David Egan
‘It lived a good life, and died a good death’
In an alternate reality where animals have been legally recognized as our brothers and sisters and eating meat is banned, this play explores the deviance of the human psyche and how we are enticed by the forbidden – a grotesque exploration of a futuristic form of prohibition, which instead of eradicating the desire just forces the act underground.
This play is a revelation – entertaining, witty, funny and totally engaging – set around a dinner invitation from a couple (played by Amanda Golding and Steve Hay) to a man (played by Kieran Donelly) who has been brought up with animals in a nature reserve where the human inhabitants have no clothes and no names. The guest is invited to be initiated into civilization for the evening, drinking wine and encountering furniture for the first time. He chooses the name Pig for the evening, which is an irony considering what’s on the menu.
Watching the way Ellen plays with Pig’s mind without him realizing the game they are playing is an uncomfortable joy to watch – I guessed the ending quite early on but it was still a satisfying climax to this funny and unique story, and David Egan is a worthy joint-winner of this year’s New Writing Competition – I could see this play being snapped up to make a film version and I look forward to seeing more of Egan’s work.
‘Sometimes, it’s okay to eat our brothers and sisters’
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