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Summer Showcase at the Etcetera Theatre

Like thoroughbreds at a starting gate, The Working Actors Studio is launching four winning pieces of new writing, performed by a complement of 16 bold-spirited actors, who most recently graced the stage at London’s Etcetera Theatre in Camden Town. As part of the Studio’s Summer Show, each piece is performed by a quartet of characters in wildly serious but ferociously complicated situations.

Summer ShowcaseThe performances kick off with Swings and Roundabouts, a witty piece about sex dens and car keys in glass bowls for couples in need of partner swaps to enhance their own sexual prowess. Although the characters consider themselves superior to the trite existence of the boring middle classes, their actions soon prove as ordinary as dishwater, with jealousy, possessiveness and one-upmanship establishing itself in what is purported to be a free-spirited, experimental encounter.

Tomorrow is a piece that revisits the essence of Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit (in French, Huis Clos), with its characters trapped – long-term and seemingly never-ending – inside an air-tight bunker with internet kaput and no way out. Their air supply and food stocks are near depleted, a dead body poses the question of cannibalism and one person selfishly holds the secret to lead the way out – albeit to a world rife with disease and tumult. The possibility of freedom presents itself just when their internet access is restored…

Days of Halcyon proves the most compelling piece, one which demands close introspection and self-examination about our earlier selves and what lies ahead of us. We’re introduced to Jenny, an older woman in the mid-stages of dementia being looked after by her ethically minded, career-savvy daughter. Parallel to their conversations, and separated from them in the performance space, a young couple appear who seem to know Jenny and wish to escape from her influence. A young man called Michael, a weak-willed dreamer and a chancer, promises marriage and a bright future to a trusting au pair. He might be Jenny’s son – or is he?

Buddy, is a brilliantly written piece about how we get in our own way just when the brass ring is ours for the taking. Buddy, a violent canine, is the eponymous, unseen anti-hero of the narrative. His female owner, who he’s attacked, is encouraged to enjoy a weekend away with a love interest, while her elder sister takes care of the unpredictable Buddy. Any possibility of romance is squelched when the elder sister fails to telephone-in frequent updates on Buddy’s behaviour. The anxiety is too much for Buddy’s caring owner and she bolts back home to check on his safety. Meanwhile, the befuddled love interest finds himself alone and seeking the solace of a body massage and some kind words to heal his lonely heart.

The above theatre pieces were greeted with thunderous applause at the Summer Show’s finale. A huge thank you to The Working Actors Studio and its fine writers and actors for gracing us with such fine performances.

5 Star Rating

Review by Loretta Monaco

Swings and Roundabouts
By Matthew Kay
Meredith Jones
Frederik Lysegaard
Elliot Eason
Suzie Voce

By Jimin Suh
Zach Pygott
Amy Leigh Summers
Reshma Morris
Imogen Davis

Days of Halcyon
By Demi Leigh
Todd Hunter
Megan Manning
Annie Foreman
Imogen Mackenzie

By Miranda Langley
Jayne Sharp
Jackie Tamayo
Bülent Mehmet
Miranda Langley


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