The 24 Hour Plays 2011

Five plays, five directors, five writers, five producers, five designers, five groups of five actors, but only one ANNA ISAAC.

24 hour plays ADC Alex MacKeith charlie risius Chloe Mashiter Clare O'Brien Edward Eustace fred maynard Georgia Ingels Hellie Cranley Jack Johnson Jack Parlett Jamie Hansen Juliet Cameron-Wilson KT Roberts Lowell Belfield Matt Clayton Nikki Moss Oliver Marsh Olivia Emden Ryan O'Sullivan Steph Aspin Stephen Bailey stephen bermingham

ADC Theatre, 28th November, 11pm, £5-6

Following my illustrious forbears, I shall give each play its own star rating. If it made more sense I would give the concept and its continuation THE BIG FIVE STARS. The atmosphere in the ADC was electric; exactly what was required to support the insanity of theatre created in such a short length of time. There was a big buzz, a fatty jumpy massive buzz.

1. All 

Written by KT Roberts

Directed by Chloe Mashiter



What a lovely little sweetshop we had here. And the owner of said shop (Jack Johnson) could hardly have been lovelier than if he had been dipped in Chocolat. Not massively edgy but it had some great lines (‘Do you think sweets come alive at night?’) and perhaps the biggest laugh of the play was wallowing in the (frankly terrifying) anthropomorphic nature of Jelly Babies. I think it tends to be the nature of the short play that when the narrative revels in small things, it is at its best. The sweets and the kiddies’ gleeful faces as they gobbled them were by far the most enjoyable part of this little goody bag. It was well cute. I liked it.

2. Truly

Written by Lowell Belfield

Directed by Charlie Risius



The sequined dress was perfect diva hallmarking, but the diva in the dress with a hard-knock-life was only ok. Jamie Hansen played a wanker in tight trousers admirably, and Stephen Bermingham’s  Zeeeee – a sort of real-life version of The Simpsons’ Disco Stu – was well-acted. But my oh my the script was pretty wooden. I did like the Bentley-related eyebrow-raise.  I did like the stuttering rucksack-dominated entrance of Oliver Marsh. I did not like the lack of variety of feeling and interest. Olivia Emden breaking down on her stage had some poignancy. But it all felt too formulaic.

3. Start

Written by Hellie Cranney

Directed by Fred Maynard



Bit too close for comfort here. One of my worst nightmares was played out: as an epileptic, I was forced to watch a scenario in which someone dies from a fit. That discomfort aside, (if one can put it aside) there were some good moments. Georgia Ingels carried a lot of the emotion and stillness of a stolid script well. Her stricken face looked horribly stricken. Basic things bothered, though – angles of the chairs on stage were such that you always lost sight of two actors at a time. This was annoying, and meant much of the cold (sometimes too over that old taste-line for me) brittle humour of Matt Clayton’s lines were lost. It was over-ambitious, at times over-done, but brave too.

4. Innocence

Written by Alex MacKeith

Directed by Nikki Moss



Well written, well acted. Again not a fabulously original plot, but done in a pleasing and clever way. The saving-a-shitting-and-unfortunate-pigeon-at-the-age-of-seven anecdote did much to make one contemplate the family values as yet unclearly established.  Jack Parlett won my heart with his goosey face and a jazzy cardigan, seeming both the most idiotic and normal person at the birthday party. I found the ensemble really engaging. Well done to the production team for creating what felt like a well-polished little number. Also the play that really made the most of its given word.

5. Wicked

Written by Ryan O’Sullivan

Directed by Stephen Bailey



Eye jizz. Sleepy peep. This was some crazy-ass shit. Brilliantly mad (perhaps a little too knowingly), what it lacked in charm was made up for in wonderfully unabashed surrealism. Mr Polito the piss-soaked sock-puppet stole the show. The spoilt, insistent whine of Oskar McCarthy as some weird man-child, the anthropomorphic sheep who was forced to run across the stage and loop ’round the back several times, the lip-synching of ‘Hey Mr Postman’, and the dunking of a banana in Horlicks all made me feel very happy. As I am a bit of a miserable cunt, I can’t understate that achievement. I might have a Horlicks now actually. Though I do usually go for an Ovaltine on a Monday night . . .

All details of actors, producers, designers to be found here; there were just too many to name here, but they were an impressive bunch.