Brighton Fringe 2010
Scorch Theatre/Two Bins
Venue: The Open House
A tale of hedonism and claustrophobia played out over the remnants of a twenty-fifth birthday celebration. The writer Ben Keyworth toys with being wanted, belonging, and drugs, in this drama written under The Royal Court’s Young Writers’ Programme.
After Party by Ben Keyworth, a collaboration between Two Bins and Scorch Theatre, is a two act piece, played over the last remnants of the 25th birthday of hedonistic Lena.
Some naturalistic and well-realised performances gave the action and writing a lift, especially from Madeline Herrington who gave Lena great depth and an edgy and unpredictable performance from Tomi May.
Between psychological twists, aggression and powerful drug taking scenes, Ben Keyworth’s sharp one-liners and some slick dialogue lightened the mood. This is aided in no small part by Matt Lawson and Katie Cooper as Lena’s friends – a pair of happy-go-lucky clubbers, played by skilled actors who shared a good rapport throughout the piece.
Nick Warmford’s direction gave the play real momentum and complemented Ben Keyworth’s writing. The simply designed set in the intimate yet thriving venue lent itself very well to the claustrophobic feel of the piece set in the living room of a modern flat. The Open House is definitely a venue to keep an eye on; the sixty-seat theatre was full, with the promise of more productions to follow from Two Bins and Scorch Theatre in the near future.
The original score from Audio Bullys produced some powerful transition scenes and really set the scene for the hedonistic nightmare about to follow.
After Party is an interesting, but not all too original, story exploring night life and drug use. Well performed and directed, I was left feeling this play was still a work in progress. However, it is well seeing because of the strength of the performances, strong direction and the evocative script.