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Another Saturday well spent watching an eclectic mix of new writing!

WordPlay continues to be a great mix of new writers, along with emerging actors from OnSet Productions. Held in an informal and relaxed way with a blank stage and simple lighting in Burdalls Yard.

WordPlay kicked off with The Gift by David Marrs, which shows two single sisters, Sophie and Eva, discussing the woes of being an independent woman; sexuality, relationships, work and what to say to your mother! Yet one of the sisters is hiding a secret about how she makes her money now her husband has left. The script contains a lot of funny and witty dialogue being tossed between the two women in a very naturalistic style. Further development is needed, particularly in terms of characters but I am desperate to find out what happens next!

The second play was Trip of the Tongue by Roy Proctor, a piece based on short stories by Anton Chekov. It depicts a conversation between Vassitchka and his wife Natalya Mihalovna. Through the use of sub-text within the banality of their conversation arguments ensue and inevitably lead to the downfall of their relationship. The play has very little action, and would probably work well as a radio production. Work is needed though, as the storyline is not very clear and the conversation between the two characters could be sharper.

Another play from Roy Proctor follows, The Would Be Playwright, which certainly makes up for the former. It follows Katerina Petrovna Mamushkin trying desperately to pitch her awful and hilariously long script to the highly regarded writer Pavel Vassilyevitch. As time goes on Vassilyevitch gets slowly angrier and madder leading to a darkly humorous conclusion. The language is much better, with great imagery, wonderful vocabulary, and a clear relationship and action from the start.

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Lastly, was an extract from Care by Clare Reddaway, a play about the patients and carers in the NHS today. In just this short extract the play brings up many issues, viewpoints and emotions about problems in our care system and with the elderly today. Well written and very moving I can’t wait to see this piece in its full form!
As always the characters are brought to life in these rehearsed readings by the actors of OnSet Productions. Each one approaching each script with enthusiasm, and interesting and strong character choices. Particularly strong choices came from Tilley Sheridan as a very flouncy and energetic Natalya Milhalovna and Bronte Hazell as an uptight and cutting Mrs C in Care. The actors work well with one another, creating the relationships between characters well and engaging the audience in their performances. For example Alex Knight perfectly breaks the fourth wall whist Alexandria White mimes empathically during The Would Be Playwright.

WordPlay is a fantastic event and I encourage people to come along to the next performance on 7th March to witness some great new writing brought to life by some wonderful actors.

Charlotte Claydon

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