Review: Gazing At A Distant Star, Greenwich Theatre

 “When you’re at uni, you think the salad in your kebab is your five-a-day and Marlboro Lights are a food group”

I do try and attend new writing nights here and there and I often ponder what, if anything, happens to the many works in progress that feature in their programmes. And in the case of Life Sentence by Siân Rowland, a short but powerful monologue I saw as part of this night at the Southwark Playhouse, I’m getting to see that development first-hand. Expanding on the larger theme of people going missing (this production supports the charity Missing People), Rowland has introduced two more monologues and intertwined the three together to create Gazing At A Distant Star

Call centre worker Arun is grinding through shift after shift to save for university, the only chink of light coming with his friendship with colleague Glen, but he’s not been seen for a week. Anna is training for a 5k run when a chance encounter brings memories of her long-disappeared sister come flooding back. And Karen’s wait for a postcard from her son, who is off on a lads holiday, is interrupted by a knock on the door from the police. As they each deal with the pieces of their shattered lives, so too are their stories fragmented as the narrative continually shifts between all three. Continue reading “Review: Gazing At A Distant Star, Greenwich Theatre”

Review: State of Fear. Responsibility to…?, Southwark Playhouse

“Do you think we should…maybe…help”

Time Zone Theatre’s call for budding playwrights to respond to the current UK political climate saw over 200 writers submit work and once 7 successful entrants were chosen, they were staged as an evening at the Southwark Playhouse called State of Fear. Responsibility to…?. New writing, fresh acting talent, emerging directors and hyper-contemporary reference points, it all made for quite the sparky Sunday evening. 

My unpreparedness for the roads of Elephant and Castle being replaced meant I missed the opening two shorts, The Watchers by Jayne Woodhouse and Just Like Me by Rob Johnston. But I was able to take in the other 5 and get a good sense for the over-riding themes of the evening – a burning anger at the ruling elite (in all its forms) and a fierce indictment of societal indifference in response. Continue reading “Review: State of Fear. Responsibility to…?, Southwark Playhouse”