Monday 16 December 2019

THEATRE REVIEW: The Result: The 24 Hour Plays - Liverpool Arts Bar, Liverpool.

Siobhan Noble was responsible for producing The Result; The 24 Hour Plays and getting it on the stage. Additionally, Siobhan did all the sound and organised the whole event finding directors, writers and actors to perform in this collective piece of short plays. Everyone involved in the show provided their services free of charge and partispated in the event in order to raise money for the local food banks in Liverpool. It was really nice that The Liverpool Arts Bar allowed Noble and her crew to use the stage and bar area free of charge.

Ian Salmon wrote a monologue entitled, 'The Morning After', which was performed by Mike Noble. The monologue was very well written and generally mentioned the exit polls and politics in general. I thought this give the audience an instant insight in the subject matter that would been developed and explored during the evening. It did prompt the audience to ask questions themselves and think about what the next few years will mean for the general public.

Noble did a great job performing the monologue and added deep realism to the piece. There was a great nostalgic feel of the eighties to the monologue as we were reminded how bad the decade was for us, politically speaking. However, the music, films, theatre and sporting events got us through the difficult decade. Although the monologue started off bleak, our hopes and aspirations were lifted towards the end of this piece of theatre.

The first short play of the evening was 'Friday the 13th', which was directed by Mark Smith and written by Marj Morgan. Morgan wrote her piece from a different medium, which worked well. This particular piece was staged as a radio drama featuring Lee Freeburn and Jennifer Vaudrey, as a young couple. Vaudrey was an adamant Tory supporter, who was attempting her best to sway her partner to change his mind and support her party instead. He did seem indesive initially, which party would be more beneficial for him. His partner subtly explained he would be better voting for the Tories. There were some great sound effects throughout the piece such as mobile phone ringing and other noises too. Motgan did an excellent job balancing both opinions with some valid reasons.

The second short play, 'Smoke', was directed by Emma Bird and written by Oliver Back. Charlotte Catrall played Madame President, whilst Birf multi-tasked by playing the Secretary of Defence too. Back conveyed so much humour and funny incidents in this particular piece. Catrall added some great comedy timing and her delivery of the lines was excellent, which were met with laughter in the audience. Bird’s character was the voice of reason, but couldn’t get through to Madame President about the significance of regularly changing the codes of the nukes. Then her reaction, when the codes got into the wrong hands was absolutely priceless.

'Two Newsrsders' was the third short play, which was directed by Peter Mitchelson and written by Saphena Aziz. Aziz did provide a few comedy moments in her piece and gave us another perspective from people, who worked in the newsroom. Nick Sheedy and Neleigh Olsen portrayed the roles of the two newsreaders, Rob and Laura. There was instant audience interaction, when Rob approached the stage through the audience. He appeared very vain and was constantly checking his hair wasn’t sticking up. Rob and Laura were just about to raed a news bulletin live on air. However, once when they were off air, their own opinions soon starting spiralling out of control. As they both work for the BBC, they needed to appear impartial and unbiased to other parties in the election campaign.

The forth short play, 'The British Lion Roars For Brexit' was directed by Margaret Connell and written by Ginni Manning. Jo Collins and Claire McGrath both starred in this piece, which was an interrogation scenario centred around an incident, which occurred at the office Christmas party. Whilst the officer remained extremely calm and attempting to get to the bottom of what actually happened. The woman being questioned seemed very angry and couldn’t understand why she was there in the first place. Money had gone missing and an investigation was being launched. She remained extremely defiant and was blaming her foreign workers..There was an element of racism to a certain degree, which was directed, written and acted sentively.

'Johnson Set For The Largest Tory Majority Since Thatcher', was the fifth short play directed by Pete Mitchelson and written by Denise Kennedy. Mitchelson again teamed up with actors, Nick Sheedy and Neleigh Olsen. They were employees in a toy factory, appeared very bored and strook up a conversation about a potential landslide victory for the Tories. This piece was littered with riddles, which provided another angle and happy distraction from the serious conversation that lay ahead.

Finally, the sixth short play was performed by Rachael Swift, Isobel Balchin, Martyna Puciato and Rebecca Clarke, who are from Mooncup Theatre. Rachael Swift played the role of Boris Johnson, which she added so much comedy in her performance. Her accent of him was spot on, the awful wig got more laughs than her catchphrase of ‘’Getting Brexit Done.’’ Great concept having women playing these often dominant male roles. This piece was absolutely hysterical throughout and provided the evening with a great high to end on.

The directors did an incredible job managing to direct all these short plays in a space of eight hours, whilst the writers did an equally good job writing these the night before the actual performance. All the writers were given a headline from a national newspaper and created a script surrounding it. Although, the subject matter revolved around the result of the general election, all the stories were very different and varied from each other. Whilst some had a lot of drama in them and opinions from both sides, there was plenty of comedy for the audience too.

Overall, this was theatre at its best and seeing how these very talented directors, writers and actors worked together so well to provide the audience of highly entertaining and energised performances. The acting was a good standard, there definitely appeared to be a great sense of rapport and support for each other in the short plays. Well done to everyone involved, who provided their services free of charge for a very worthy cause.

Reviewer - Mark Cooper
on - 14/12/19

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