Theatre Royal, Bury
This production was billed as an evening of amusing new writing presented script-in-hand.
Any minor fears I had that the short plays would be, not amusing and not warm the cockles of our hearts on a winter’s night, were unfounded.
The audience was invited to a free drink at the bar and to sit at any table in the Greene Room, on the periphery of the Georgian theatre.
Our actors performed all around us and mingled as audience members whilst resting. This was delightfulluy inclusive and they did act rather than just read.
The subject matter in the plays was as diverse as it was intriguing. And there was the bonus that if one didn’t grab you as much as another, it lasted a short while.
However all 12 playlets were compelling, especially the Greene Queen by Martin Pennock in which a former star of stage and screen outwits a money grabbing councillor and a wide boy entrepreneur.I loved Beneath the Boards by Roger Curtis in which an artistic director gets his comeuppance and Strivers by Richard Stainer illustrating how busy schedules take their toll on family life. Not So Gay Gordons by Thelma Quince gave voice to the elderly wanting a change and new starts in life.
Like all good plays, these had something important to say amidst the jollity.
I applaud this showcase of new writing and the opportunity to see new work. We need more in theatres generally, to shine a spotlight on our society.