Brighton Fringe 2009
Bite-Size Plays Breakfast Show
Venue: Brighton Unitarian Church
Festival: Brighton Fringe
Six fast paced ten minute plays of different stories placed in unusual situations!
Gods And Zombies – as a zombie attack hits the city, two men work out ways of getting out of their hell of being stuck in a church!
Moving Fast – A suburban couple’s life is changed when Roger turns Muslim and wants to change the world – all whilst Susan was out getting the milk!
Life as a Springer Show – what would happen if your life was like the Jerry Springer show? What would our secrets be if the audience decided what they were?
The Interpreter – as two world leaders argue over politics, the interpreter is stuck in the middle! What’s her take on things?
Favour for the boss – Boris is asked a favour by his boss to do something for him before his final job. Will he do it?
Up The Hilary Duff – what if all ante-natal classes went all celebrity and Hollywood on us? How will our perspective change on something so natural as birth?
Despite the children’s parade outside the Unitarian Church, a great turnout was had for the opening performance of Bite-Size’s Breakfast show! The atmosphere was buzzing as we sat there with our free ice-creams waiting for the show to start. What happened was this:
Gods and Zombies:
A strong start to the proceedings! As soon as I saw Andy Welch and Paul Hayes rush on to the stage, I knew I was in for a treat! One man had a machine gun and covered with blood from a fight – the other was clean, young and fresh. This piece bravely examines coping in extreme circumstances and whether to turn to religion or science using zombie attacks as the backdrop. The intensity had us all routed to our seats with some laughs as the hysteria built up by Trevor (Paul Hayes) intensifies! This is very well handled despite mostly shouting from both men, but in circumstances like this, who wouldn’t? It didn’t distract from the matter in hand. When the lone zombie came on and went for the two men, the witty lines increased and was well received afterwards.
The plays then got better and better!
Russell Shaw and Lisa Bealby had a great working relationship throughout this piece! The issue of converting to being a Muslim is always a tricky issue, but the writing and staging of this piece is just wonderful! It was hard hitting and yet very subtle. Both actors played the piece as naturally as they possibly could as Roger transformed from being unemployed to being an international world leader – all in one morning!!! Russel Shaw handled his role with dignity and style and Lisa Bealby played the suffering wife Susan with such dextertity. Both changed their statuses extremely well – it was almost like watching Bill and Hilary Clinton, but on a more extreme level! Political satire is tricky, but these two made it look easy!
Life as A Jerry Springer Show:
This was a show stopper! The gags were sharp and quick witted and it really felt as if we were on the Jerry Springer Show. Lots of fights, naughty secrets and the ever enigmatic Jerry with loads of audience participation! I thoroughly enjoyed myself in this one and so did the audience! We even got to choose what secrets to reveal…it ended up thanks to us being Tom sleeping with his best friend Amy’s mum, Amy sleeping with Brandon the waiter in the bar, Brandon working as a stripper secretly (he even gave us a show!) and Brandon wanting to go for a drink or…’something’ with BOTH Amy and Tom! Phew! After all that, congratulations to Paul Hayes, Danielle White, Lewis Reid and Andy Carn for pulling it off!
On to a very different subject now – what goes on in an interpreter’s mind as he/she does her job? We got to see it! One American leader and a Middle Eastern leader discussed and argued politics, whilst Sophie Dearlove played a sensitive, yet hilarious portrayal of the interpreter in question! There were times when she was drowned out by the two men arguing, but she held her ground well and made sure she was heard. Julian McDowell and Trevor Scales did extremely well in becoming these overbearing leaders – really getting into their characters too well at times, but the pace was great, the electricity between all three people highly charged! In the end it’s the interpreter who gets to have the last word when she’s sacked by both parties – ‘assholes’ is what we hear when she storms off leaving both men in an awkward situation of not understanding each other. A great ending!
Favour for The Boss:
This was a major hit with everyone! Miranda Christides and Andy Carn team up to portray a gangster husband and wife team who have a very honest relationship that works. The sexual chemistry between the two actors right from the start was hot and sizzling and I found myself being drawn in to this couple’s world. This is nothing like The Sopranos though! The last favour the boss wants Boris to do is sleep with him! So we see the battle of the sexes commence – analysing what is different for men as opposed to women! He has to think about it, but if it was his wife that was asked he’d say yes! Beautifully handled and again naturally portrayed! Well done to both actors!
Up the Hilary Duff!
What a fantastic conclusion to a rollercoaster ride of a show!!! An ante-natal clinic that does rather unorthodox birthing techniques…all based around celebrity culture and Hollywood! But it’s purely that. The laughs keep coming as we see a normal couple running late for their class and a celebrity chasing ‘chav’ couple lapping it up! Suzy (played brilliantly by Sophie Dearlove) is pessimistic and yet sarcastic about natural birth, but gets really excited when she talks about celebrities’ birthing technique – what’s hot and what’s not. She even has this fantastic comedy line about ruining her lino flooring when the normal couple goes into labour early and continues with the class whilst the labour progresses! Again subtle and classy – well done to all involved.
Go and see this show! It’s amazing! This particular show is on until23rd May on Saturday mornings at 11am and their sister show ‘Matinee’ is on Sundays at 1.30pm. This is definitely worth getting up early on a Saturday morning for.