Angelic Tales – Theatre Royal Stratford East

New Writing Festival by Team Angelica

Short and Curlies

(Thursday 4th June – This event has now closed.)

This was an exciting evening of new writing covering four twenty minute plays. The first; “Girlfag” was written by Rita Suszek and directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair. This play is by turns touching, funny and confronting. It deals with the intertwining and confusing issues of gender, sexuality and identity. It is something of a journey of self-discovery.

The main character, Raw – played by Suszek herself, searches for the answers to questions that plague so many of us such as what, and who, do we really want. In a world that is finally becoming more accepting of the myriad different identities and desires that can be a part of the human condition, it can come as a surprise how often we are expected to fit ourselves into a certain set of definitions. The fact that the set of definitions has widened (in parts of the world) does not make them any less difficult for those who find themselves on the outside of them.

It is always refreshing to see theatre that explores experiences that are usually overlooked and the young cast portrayed this story with enthusiasm and bravery.

The second play, “Step Nine”, written by Darren Hussein Chadwick, is a frankly disturbing look at a destructive relationship. It is skilfully directed by Lynette Linton who manages to make the inherent darkness of the piece both appalling and captivating. The two actors in this piece are impressive in their courage and vulnerability. The physicality of this play was particularly effective in highlighting the interplay of power between the two characters.

The third play, “Positive” by Adam Hughes directed by Denholm Spurr illustrates the effective use of humour in dealing with difficult and often taboo subjects. The snappy pace of the piece perfectly highlighted the world of instant gratification and modernity in which it is set. The cast embraced the very particular “voice” of the play with a mixture of sensitivity and fun. The real beauty of this play was the way it showed how something that might seem life shattering could possibly lead even the most shallow and hedonistic on a journey of selflessness and compassion.

The fourth and final play was “Fallout”, written by Jonathan Skinner and directed by Jack Shalloo. This was a quirky and touching take on the story of two people who find each other at the end of the world. It is funny, perhaps even lightly romantic but with a healthy dose of cynicism for the self-serving and self-destructive tendencies of the human race. David Hampstead and Stephanie Sen play delightfully, provoking both each other and the audience.

There are two more plays to catch of this festival on Monday and Tuesday Nights but if you miss those keep an eye out for other projects by Team Angelica, especially if you enjoy daring, hot-off-the-press theatre.

©Alexandra Birchfield 2015

These plays are now over, but Angelic Tales are running until  Sat 13th June, booking: http://stratfordeast.com/angelic-tales-new-writing-festival

Visit teamangelica.com for future projects similar projects to Angelic Tales.

Alexandra is a New Zealand born writer and actor who has been living in the UK for 4 years. She spent the first three years in Glasgow studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is now living in London with two lovely flatmates and one very pampered cat.

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