Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Friday 30 November 2007

24 Hour Plays Is A Komedia Sell-Out!

The 24 Hour Plays, inspired by the Old Vic's "New Voices' project, made an inspiring and creative impact at Komedia
Kevin Spacey Inspired Night Of New Theatre

Tense producers fearing a low turnout need not have worried as the studio theatre filled with eager audience members with many turned away as the venue became sold out.

Essentially, six teams comprising of a writer, a director and two to five actors are given twenty-four hours to write, create and then present a short finished work to the public.

Inspired by the 24 Hour Company in the US the idea for the project was brought to the UK by Kevin Spacey and the Old Vic Theatre in London.

Writers work all night to produce a finished piece of work by 7 o'clock in the morning, directors then pickup the scripts and a list of actors (chosen by the writers from photographs) for production that evening.

All plays are only supposed to last for about ten minutes.


The six entertaining plays, that each fully deserve a mention, were as follows:


The Creationists by Fiona Peek is an inspired and interesting post-modern style concept about the idea of creation in a ten minute slot, in this case the universe. Highlights were the writing itself and the acting of Ben Richardson.


Lobsters (A Perfect Day) by Joanna Pinto had Dali-esque symbols of dreams and lobsters in a surreal setting. Although the writing would have benefited from more overall cohesion and editing the idea itself was good. This kind of work is very hard to write.


Taken by Heather Rayment was a dark, tense and wonderfully claustrophobic piece of writing. Good direction and a dark and brooding performance by Danny Alder gave the work a feeling of Pinter or Anthony Burgess. This could easily be extended into an interesting longer work. Great intense writing meant that every word was, and thus felt, very carefully chosen.


The Secret of a Joke by Guy Picot was the show stealer. Very funny and yet somehow still quite dark, this is an astonishingly accomplished work. What it achieves in the time allotted points to a writer of skill and economy of words. The cross references between a comedian cracking jokes about his mad girlfriend, the girl herself and a third actor playing the both the 'madness' in her head and the "medication' used to supposedly solve the problem are superb. The girl is only free when she has removed both the problem and the "solution/ from her life. Deadpan Ollie Hester, Katie McGann and, for me, best actor of the night, Laura Corbett, were all a real treat.


Driftwood by Jamie Martin was an interesting exercise in times past and present put across together in parallel time. It is notable for its direction by Aine King and a good performance by Chris Harrison and Kieron James. An interesting story, it needed more time in honesty to develop the ideas more fully. I think it could work well as a short forty-or-so minute radio play with the voices interspersed to create more interesting comparisons between the parents and the children.


Say Goodbye by Helen Black was an ambitious idea based on a dialogue with those who have passed away. This idea would work far better as full blown work with more time for the development of characters (near impossible in very short works). The work was littered with great one liners, delivered particularly well by Emma Donaghy.


Theatre a dying art? I do not think so. Not with creativity and capacity audiences like this.

What a great shot in the arm these kinds of events are, and so much more exciting than some of the snoozy yawn-fests and pointless cash cow pap shows so often paraded before us as the only money making options the more traditional theatres have.

How many times have you seen queues and sold out notices at these events and venues recently?


Great stuff, more please!


The next of these events will be in February or March next year, if you missed this one and fancy going, you had better get there early as this event is deservedly very popular and you will miss out.


by: Howard Young



Related links

Komedia The 24 Hour Plays

Share    


Brighton's Creature Creature have used their downtime, since sharing festival stages with the likes of Manic Street Preachers and The Hives, by recording their forthcoming debut album, Two Finger Tantrum
Credit Mark Senior

When Once first appeared in cinemas thirteen years ago, a low budget Irish independent film shot with just $160,000, it was one of the more modest premieres of the season. But the story, of a Dublin street busker and a Czech musician whose passion for music sparks a unique love story, quickly took hold of audiences and hasn't let go since.

Hayley Ross lives by the sea in Brighton, grew up in Walton-on- Thames, has spent time in the Caribbean, and is right now renovating a fishing trawler to live on in Newhaven. 
Credit Matt Stronge

Brighton-born stand-up Robin Morgan is a father to his son and a son to his father. But what makes a good male role model? In his new show, which is coming to Komedia Brighton, in April, the comedian is calling out the double standards that set the bar so low to be a 'good dad' and exploring the gender roles forced on our children from conception.
Credit Frederike Wetzels

German Art-Pop band, Giant Rooks are set to arrive in Brighton, this spring, on the back of new single Watershed; a melancholy banger that begins with a reverb laced piano hook before launching in a beautiful slice of angular indie disco.
Credit Robert Day

“The story is about people coming together and how we are stronger together than apart, that's the message,” says author Alex Wheatle, of Crongton Knights, which heads to Theatre Royal Brighton, in March. 

Following on from the recent interview in The Brighton Magazine with ballet superstar and contemporary dance company founder, Carlos Acosta, three of the Acosta Danza dancers speak in the magazine about Evolution, the show that visits Brighton Dome, next month
Credit Johnny Hostile

Best known as the lead singer and co-writer of UK band Savages (whose first gig was as support to British Sea Power in Brighton), Jehnny Beth has spent the band's down time recording her solo album, To Love Is To Live.
Credit Phoebe Fox

We increasingly hear from musicians that music should be an escape these days - that there's enough suffering in the world, enough misery on the news, without writings songs about it too. New album A Billion Heartbeats by Mystery Jets makes all that sound like a bit of a cop-out. 
Credit Katy Cummings

Scottish arena rockers Twin Atlantic are back with new album Power - and it's arrived with a dramatic shift in style and tone.

Since debuting in 2010, the current production of Ghost Stories has played around the world (and even been made into a successful film). This tour of the 2019 revival from the Lyric Hammersmith comes to Theatre Royal Brighton this week, complete with the pre-show warning “Are you brave enough to book?”

“How do you make people laugh in such unstable, unpredictable times?”, the comedian Stewart Lee asks.  Well, he should know! Last year, after three decades in the business, The Times called him the 'world's greatest living stand-up'. 

Ahead of Stephen Daldry's seminal production of JB Priestley's classic thriller An Inspector Calls, which heads to Theatre Royal Brighton, later this month, The Brighton Magazine features an enlightening chat with Christine Kavanagh, who plays 'Mrs Birling'.
Credit Jamie MacMillian

The acclaimed British and Ethiopian poet, playwright, broadcaster and speaker, Lemn Sissay MBE has launched Brighton Festival 2020 welcoming everyone to the Imagine Nation from 2 to 24 May 2020. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd