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Energy Abounds At Alphabetti
Newcastle Alphabetti Theatre
16th July 2016
It is a simple idea. Write a play and perform it live on the same night. In practice it is a major challenge. The writers have to be quick and don’t have time to reflect upon their work. The performers get little or no warning of how the show will unfold and have to improvise. But, as with the play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit (NETG REVIEW), there is a real positive nervous energy which the audience feed upon and make this a great live spectacle.
The writers had been sent, via social media, a number of title suggestions by the audience. From these they started to write scene one at 7pm. As the audience arrive they could enter the performance space and see the script appearing 5 lines at a time. Ali Pritchard, Louise Taylor and Richard Stockwell had their work cut out throughout the show to produce the script in time for the next scene.
At 7:30 the acting team of Matt Jamie, Rosie Stancliffe and Steve Byron enter the stage and make introductions. The script for scene one was projected onto a large screen so everyone in the room could see. After a single read through by the cast act one began whilst Louise was busy typing act two on a manual typewriter and Ali & Richard were bringing act 3 together.
The story involved a couple that had a stagnant relationship. In order to add some spice to their relationship they decide to invite their workmate across for dinner. He arrives expecting to see a number of people there and immediately gets suspicious when he realises he is the only guest and Rosie is paying him rather a lot of attention. They consume a lot of wine and the night continues.
It is obviously a nerve wracking task to perform a play that is being written on the night. It is also understandable for a couple to be nervous as they ask a workmate to get intimate with them. This genuine emotion produced a really exciting production. The audience laughed and gasped as the play developed. After the interval the 3 actors read out post script monologues about 3 of the characters. Each monologue had been written during the interval and these were as funny as the main play.
The format takes improvisation to a new level. There cannot be many groups in the country willing to take the risk to try to do this type of show. The end product was a very pleasing, exciting performance that created a real buzz amongst both the cast and the audience.
This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Carliol Photography (https://twitter.com/CarliolPhoto). Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Carliol Photography on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/carliolphotography.