Brighton Fringe 2008
Hard Chair Stories
Other Place Productions
Venue: Upstairs at the Three and Ten
Festival: Brighton Fringe
Award winning writer, Nicholas Burbridge presents an engaging and intense series of interwoven monologues that reveal the "dark
and absurd underside of life."
Three dark, comedic and dissected monologues tell tales of discord and despair by protagonists in hard chairs.
Rick (Mark Katz) relates of the sorry day he collected his incontinent, mentally disturbed and habitually masturbating brother from a rest home. There is much excrement and family recombination.
John (Fintan Shevlin), morose Irishman in mourning pinstripe, tells of the funeral wake for a suicidal relation. Strong writing and delivery with everything you’d expect.
Sarah’s (Victoria Beighton) chair is a wheelchair and she is a fun loving criminal who has married a violent policeman called Archibald.After a child and a self-aborted labour, Sarah shag’s a ‘paki’ and Archibald, runs amuck with a shovel. He is both sexist and racist and murders a hamster, also called Archibald, with the shovel. He goes on to put the narrator in her wheelchair through violent implementation of the same utensil.
An entertaining piece and well acted. The audience clearly enjoyed these pieces and the performances were suitably restrained. It would have been easy to go “over the top” but the sharp directing (from Aine King) pegged the performances back to allow the strong writing to come through. In terms of the acting, less is definitely more.That’s a sign of good acting in my view and even Mark Katz’s more animated characterisation suited his piece perfectly. Three monologues and three chairs; good, intense writing, competently directed.