Review: Blast From The Past

The London Short Play Festival

“Blast from the Past” written and directed by Anna-Lisa Maree

Right off the bat I have to confess that I didn’t know much about the details surrounding the Soho nail bombing which was the backdrop for “Blast from the Past”, the first of four shows at this year’s London Short Play Festival at the Edric theatre. While the play did culminate in the attack at the Admiral Duncan, it was not the main focus of the story. This is much more a story about family relationships, finding your place in the world and and how much harder it is to accept others when you struggle to accept yourself.

The set is surprisingly detailed and very effective at creating the feel of the specific era and locations in which the play is set. The overall design is evocative and and engaging with some truly spectacular costumes and I’m not just talking about the kick-ass Alanis Morissette number!

The writing is a bit exposition heavy. This is perhaps understandable when you have quite a bit of information to get across in a short amount of time. While the short play style can be ideal for some stories, this particular play might need some simplifying to fit the format. Alternatively it could be extended to a full length play, there is some good material and real potential for development in a longer format.

Judy Buxton’s larger than life portrayal of Julie Tate is honed and skillfull while Matthew John Wright’s performance as Mark Harrington is sweet and touching. The real stand out is Anthony Poore as Nathan Tate. Poore’s characterisation is layered and insightful. The performance is sharp, witty and charismatic with moments of emotional depth that avoid becoming indulgent or morose.

The London Short Play Festival is a wonderful launch pad for new writing and talent and I would like to see this play carry on from here and be developed further.

London Short Play Festival will be back next year.  Follow them on Twitter for updates: @Short_Play_Fest

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©Alexandra Birchfield 2015 – @AMBirchfield – Alexandra is a New Zealand born actor and writer 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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