What to do at lunchtime? It’s February, so it’s too cold to sit on the park and I don’t want to eat at my desk – we all know what happens then – so how do I kill the hour of freedom between the dreary morning and the run-down to the end of the day? Well, it turns out I can take myself along to the St James Studio for some high quality entertainment as Bite-Size present “Lunchtime FourPlay”.
As the audience arrived, before even going into the theatre, we were welcomed to Dave and Cheryl’s wedding reception – complete with delicious strawberries – with “Hitched” by Lindsay Williams, where we soon learned what happens when a bride and groom wait 4 months for their “very special honeymoon night” (and I think you all know what I mean here, only to find, much to the annoyance of the groom, that the bride’s highly expensive wedding dress zip is stuck. Despite all the help, and hindrance, provided by the bride’s, lets be honest, pretty inebriated family and best friend, there may only be one option if Dave wants to see more of the lovely bride than a huge meringue.
Next up it was the turn of the natural history unit with a lovely two-hander by Jeffrey Neuman called “Insex”. Going deeper into insect relationships than even David Attenborough would dare, this playlet explored that time after two mantises have made sweet, sweet love together on a sunny afternoon. The male mantis is an old – well 90 days or so into his life – romantic who has met, wooed and had a wonderful sexual awakening experience with a female of the same species. Basking in the post-coital happiness of, to his mind, a job well done, the male of the species has no idea that for a female mantis, the best part of sex is having romantic dinner, for one, afterwards.
Our third outing was a master class in the higher levels of diplomacy as we watched the Ambassador from the United States of America meeting with the Ambassador from the Democratic Republic of Luketia to discuss the sighting and composition of US Air Force Bases (humanitarian relief say the Americans, Missiles say the Luketians). Negotiations are very tense and aren’t helped by the presence of a less than confident and not very skilled interpreter whose grasp of English may not be quite up to the job.
Finally, recognising that the ‘Classics’ are important but also recognising that people’s lives are too busy to sit through 6 hours of BBC broadcasting, we were treated Tim Hehir’s version of “Pride and Prejudice” presented in 10 minutes. Despite my initial disbelief that such a feat was possible, the cast taking on multiple roles and personas delivered superbly and I left the theatre happy that I had been spent my lunch-hour wisely. I had been warned about the perils of misbehaving clothing, studied insects at close range, learned about diplomacy and would never need to read or watch Jane Austin again. Result!
The ‘Bite-Size Plays’ five-strong cast (Amanda Bailey, Ben Galpin, Cassandra Hodges, Helena Doughty and Simon Kingsley) were brilliant in their various roles and, particularly in “Pride and Prejudice” it felt that they were enjoying themselves as much as the audience. All in all a great time was had by all and my advice to anyone in the Victoria area is, get your sarnies and cake, then head down to the St James for one of the most entertaining and informative lunches you will ever experience.
Review by Terry Eastham
White Room Theatre presents Lunchtime Fourplay 3
Running Time: 45 minutes approx
Join us for a fresh early spring menu of easily digested 10-minute theatrical delights at St. James Studio – with your lunch!
The perfect lunch hour experience! Relax & be refreshed! An eclectic mix of four bite-size plays from our award winning collection. Wedding reception comedy, East/West culture collision, post-coital conflict and a fly-through Pride and Prejudice – in ten minutes flat!
Hitched by Lindsay Williams
The Eastenders writer with a delicious play about a wedding…with a few complications.
Insex by Jeffrey Neuman
A play about love – that definitely will appeal to many appetites…
The Interpreter by Jonathan Kaufman
Culture differences collide in USA-Luketian diplomatic relations.
Pride and Prejudice by Tim Hehir
The classic favourite…stripped back and served up fresh…in 10 minutes flat!
‘Bite-Size Plays’ have won 5 star press acclaim at Edinburgh, Brighton and in our touring productions in Australia. Winners of Latest Magazine Award for ‘Best Theatre Performance’ in Brighton Festival.
The ‘Bite-Size Plays’ collection adds a unique theatrical ‘spice’ to mealtime, in between courses (and tables!) at dinners, corporate events, parties, celebrations – in cafes, restaurants, marquees as well as in and around private houses.
Monday 9th to Friday 13th February 2015 1.00pm
Thursday 12th February 2015