Dark Days

On Wednesday night I had the pleasure of going to see Dark Days, a series of short plays, improvisations and monologues by a bunch of new writers in Oxford. The event was one of a series of performances by Almost Random Theatre .

The schedule was impressive.SEVEN plays + impros in 2 hours. (Actually it ran to three, but that was a bonus not a curse.) Copying from the programme I report that these were the plays:

Improvisation – starring the audience!

The intricate workings of a Sherbet Lemon

Actors: Emmeline, Nicola, Kyran                       Writer: Dr Stuart Lee

Going for Gold

Actor: Mary                                                   Writer: Penny Thomson

My Name is Caroline Korby

Actors: Emmeline, Nicola, Paul                         Writer: Heather Dunmore

Uncle George

Actor: Richard         Musician: Angharad          Writer: Chris Sivewright

One minute plays improvised
(Big Issue, Tomatoes, They Take Our Jobs, I think therefore I am)

Writers: Gwyilm Scourfield; David Gregory; Chris Sivewright

Confessions of an Addict

Actor: Steve                                                  Writer: David Olsen


Written and read by Gwilym Scourfield

Would that it were

Actors: Emmeline, Nicola, Kyran, Daria,  Imran   Adapted by Heather Dunmore from a story by Julie Adams

If you want to know more about the actors/writers then go to the showcase on the website.

Now to the plays themselves...

The Sherbet Lemon is a thriller - chillingly accurate and a very neat twist at the end. All credit to the actors (and I think this is a phrase I will be repeating...)
Going for Gold, a marvellous monologue, perceptively written and flawlessly acted. 
'Uncle George' brought tears to my eyes - well, almost, I mustn't over do things here! - as 'Uncle George' related how he was dying and wanted to give his nephew and nieces money.Well cast in having Richard Ward as the Uncle.
My name is Caroline Korby was another slightly spooky story - what is it with murder and mayhem - with a nasty ending.
Confessions of an Addict is exactly what it says, an addict confesses to the audience about his addiction. This was so well received that the confession was repeated the second night and will be repeated again next week at Port Mahon
Wolf was written and read by this person - clearly an enthusiastic writer and performer!
Finally...'Would that it were'. Absolutely flipping brilliant. I am not sure the actors were acting - they were playing people of their age doing (I suspect) what they would do in such a situation. A lot of ad-libbing and at times they seemed out of control. This too is being repeated next week - I urge my millions of followers (am i overstating?) to see it next week!

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