Sunday, 17 February 2013

Blackshaw New Writing Night

Written by: Adam Jay (@AdamJBJay)

Upstairs at The Horse, London

What is more brilliantly warming on a cold February evening than a collection of brand new writing? The evening of plays, poetry and comedy sketches was at The Horse pub in Lambeth, by the Blackshaw Social Club.

Birthday Surprise by Josh King
The scene took place in a front room, where a blinded birthday boy ends up being usurped by an escapee thief. We were presented with four very strongly written characters that worked perfectly as a combination – the blinded husband, a helpless wife, the gullible policeman and the quick-witted criminal, and these worked in comedic harmony. The ending was written cleverly with the final statement “the perfect crime” to sum up; I would have loved to have seen the thief to make himself at home afterwards. A lovely scene artfully written, especially for physical comedy.

Dance by James Milton
This piece of performance poetry written and performed by James Milton was absolutely stunning. We were given the image of a young man, captivated by music in his head that gives him the ability to create eloquence to his words, and to lead armies to victory, and finds that when the music goes he is left without meaning to his life. There was a ring of the infamous German dictator in there for me; even if not it was a beautiful and highly intelligent point of view. The rhythm of the words held onto the audience, and at times my spine was most definitely tingling. The framing of the poem with the musical imagery held it together beautifully, and worked to reimburse images established earlier on.

Coming Home by Alison Royce
This emotionally written (and heart-felt performance) took us on a journey of a father's family, who are unaware of his death. At first the writing was a little obvious in the sense that little was left to the imagination. However the concept was really lovely, with a echo of the old saying of “if a tree falls with no-one to hear it, does it make a sound?”. It would be great to see this developed, making a stronger connection between the family and the father.

To The Extreme, With Nothing by Rebecca Patenon
This concise piece presented us with the concept of looking at things from a very different viewpoint. Some fascinating perceptions were made, including falling into the grass and finding the world is buried, rather than yourself. The contrasting imagery of the piece allowed the audience's imagination to run wild, although it really felt like it could be extended.

The Best Seafood In London by Ben Norton Davis
Davis has an amazing ability to write relationships for the stage, presenting us with Jane and Will, whose partnership becomes witty and hilarious when Jane gets very frustrated with the size of the queue. The actors expertly played the lines enabling the writing to do its work, although the conclusion felt very rushed to finish the scene, and there's a lot more room for some awkward comedy.

Ancient Things by Chris Buxey
This interesting, incredible and insanely witty novel introduction threw us into a post-apocalyptic world where Eldritch Gods have taken claim over Earth. Even in the bleak setting, there was a perfect balance between it and humour. At first it seemed a little pretentious with a lot of unnecessarily complex words, however it lessened and enabled the imagination of the piece to take over. The most exciting part of the piece was that it did not tell everything, explaining only what was needed, and the entire novel should be a fantastic read

In Cahoots By Luke Manning and Paul G Raymond
A fantastic way to end the evening, with some no-fuss sketch comedy from a pair of actors who work incredibly well together. A really nice contrast between the two, bringing comedy of playing opposing genders, as well as facial expressions being manipulated to hilarious outcomes. From an unsuspecting Essex girl manipulating men, to a fortune-teller and a very gullible teenager. A belly-aching, care-free performance which is exactly what sketch comedy needs.
The next New Writing Night is on 15th April 2013.
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