Watch This’s student written plays can often be hit or miss. However, Ben Norris’ original play ‘Method’ was immensely engaging, entertaining and well executed.
Watch This presents Method an original play by Ben Norris.
The play focuses on James (David Williams), an egotistical young actor whose career is failing owing to his own overbearing pride; there were echoes of Sophocles’ Oedipus in the act of James near blinding himself in order to metaphorically ‘see’ and comprehend his personal flaws. We are given an insight into James’ life: his relationships with his casting agent, Sam (Kitty Ostwald), his new partner Louise (Nicole Rixon), his mother Sandra (Daisy Edwards), and finally his brother Nick (Dory Wainwright). Although the main plot focus was, on one level, nothing more than a domestic drama about familial issues and miscommunications, the charm of the play was the combination of the simple plot with more thought-provoking questions of what it is to be a performer in both career and real life.
I particularly enjoyed the use of film throughout the piece; although at times the transitions from action onstage to scenes being played out on the projection screen were a bit awkward and unnecessary, for the most part Paul McHale’s beautifully shot videos really brought the play to life and were enjoyable to watch.
The cast of Method was extremely strong. In particular, Daisy Edwards’ portrayal of Sandra was endearing and, at times, delightfully comical, and her chemistry with the excellent Dory Wainwright was clear from the beginning. Rachel Thomas was extraordinarily convincing as the young Josie, and David Williams’ conviction in the role of James helped to carry the narrative forwards.
Overall, Ben Norris deserves praise for a truly enjoyable play that combined a charmingly humorous script with moments of real intensity and intrigue that left the audience wanting more.
By Alice Hodgson