An enjoyable evening watching the Pensive Federation’s ‘Significant Other Genres Festival’ in the top room at the not-long open Park Theatre last night. Ten plays by ten writers each for two actors. An iceberg lettuce, a hat, a torch and a book. A packed evening of mini plays!
There were six shows in the first half. In Will Howells’ ‘Wherever I Lay my Hat’ a film-noir detective narrates the story of a case that turns out to be his own relationship. Penny Faith’s ‘COYI’ brought us a couple who bet their future on West Ham United scoring in overtime. Nick Myles ‘Rip it to Shreds’ staged a conversation between two friends one of whom has committed suicide. ‘Dave and the Girl from Nexus’ was a delightfully surreal earthman-alien woman love story by Julie Green, played with deadpan aplomb by Neil Sheppeck and Sarah Winn. In ‘Alibi’ by Jonathan Skinner two women break into the house of the man who cheated on them both. Mike Carter’s charming Julie Andrews tribute ‘A Month and Five Days’ brought the first half to a delightful and romantic musical close.
Caro Dixey’s ‘Eastbound’ was the first show of Act Two and for me one of the highlights of the evening. Two women meet beside the M25. Nathalie Pownall’s character has broken down and is looking for help. Nina Moniri’s character is having a breakdown having left her boyfriend at a service station three miles back. I’d love to see the rest of this play.
In Jo Pockett’s ‘Something So Good’ Chloe Wigmore plays an agony angel who talks Alex Kiffin’s character through the dilemma of whether to propose to his girlfriend. Kate Webster’s ‘It’s Not You’ gave us a couple with more disturbing issues. “God I hope I’m adopted” says Alfie Rowland’s character in Camilla Whitehill’s ‘Icebergs’, a tiff between two siblings who’ve just failed to rob the supermarket where they both work, a funny, sweet end to a wonderfully diverse evening of new writing.