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oneACTS 2012 - a festival of new plays at the cornerHOUSE in Tolworth, Surbiton

Published by: Carolin Kopplin on 18th Apr 2012 | View all blogs by Carolin Kopplin
The oneACTS festival at the cornerHOUSE was launched eight years ago to provide a platform for original playwriting. The plays presented at this festival have never been shown before and usually have been developed from page to stage by the cast and crew of the festival. 

THE PROGRAMME 
by
Ian Davies 

The_Programme.JPG

Sue Lee and Rachel Cash
 
We wanna bring the audience with us, not switch them off.

We are introduced to three writers who face the impeding demise of their TV series - lead character Jamie is to be sent off to a monastery in a rather ridiculous twist of the story. While Edna is battling it out during a scheduling and production meeting, Davina is folding paper planes and Martha is desperately trying to write a new scene. When Hugh Blackstone / Jamie appears her concentration is gone for good. Hugh does not take kindly to the fate of his character and threatens legal action. 

Aptly directed by Katrin Feldhus, Davies' play criticizes the programming dominated by cheap reality shows and unpaid slave labour to keep the costs down. Rachel Cash is touching and sweet as Martha. I also liked Les Hewett as the vainly charismatic Hugh Blackstone, Jen Taylor as the determined Edna and Sheila Rolfe as the mischievous Davina. 

I AM THE WAY
by
Colin Irwin 

I_am_the_Way.JPG

Richard Mayhew-Smith and Liz Smith

You want a miracle? Bring in your lepers, I'll cure them.
We don't have many lepers in Surbiton. 
 
This hilarious production of Colin Irwin's third play in the oneACTS festival shows what might happen if Jesus actually came back to save the world. 
The Vicar is reading the newspaper complaining that reporters never write about the good things, only the bad things. As he quips that "it would be nice some day to get a sign" from Jesus, a young man in a hoodie asks to see the Vicar claiming he is Jesus. The Vicar is sceptical at first but daughter Jude quickly convinces him that Jesus is great PR for his church - she is going to rebrand God and make her father "The man who single-handedly revived religion." Maeve, the Vicar's wife, remains calm thoughout the rather tumultous events. 

Directed by Paul Hughes, Richard Mayhew-Smith and Liz Ness convince as the Vicar and his wife Maeve, Jessica Halmshaw plays their enthusiastic, rather high strung daughter Jude. 


THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED
by
Sean Lang

The_Road_Less_Travelled.JPGRichard Williams and Hamish Steele

Which road will you take?

Inspired by the poem The Road Not Taken by American poet Robert Frost, the play is set on a summer's day in 1914. Two men meet in a forest - a young banker who would rather be a poet: "Language is our soul" and a sceptical stranger who hates poetry. The Stranger points out that there is a war going on: Would the young man fight for his country or choose a different path? The Young Man sees himself as a pacifist, he abhors war and violence. The play is very philosophical and poses some interesting questions.

Director Robin Johanssen creates an eerie atmosphere although the story takes place during a lovely summer day.  Richard Williams impresses as the charismatic and slightly sardonic Stranger, Hamish Steele seems a bit insecure still playing the Young Man.   


CIRCUS ACTS
by
Katie Davison 

Circus_Acts.JPGEmily Newton, Pam Bennett and Sue Lee

Have a lovely funeral!

This modern day farce features three incompetent clowns. When mime Giggles starts a brawl on stage and then wrecks the manager's car, boss Morris has enough: "I am not talking about her performance. It is always bloody awful!" By wrecking his car, the unfortunate Giggles has also sunk valuable goods belonging  to a criminal organization. The resulting chaos provokes plenty of laughs.  

Director Colin Goodger skilfully combines comedy, clown and mime. Sue Lee almost steals the show as the Mime. But Pam Bennett and Emily Newton are quite good as the clowns. Steve Finch is the funnily dictatorial manager. 

By Carolin Kopplin

Four plays are performed on one night, and five on another., on alternative evenings throughout the April 16-21 run.
Call the box office on 020 8296 9012 or e-mail boxoffice@thecornerhouse.org

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