Great reviews for Old Bomb Theatre's production of my play Talking In Bed at Theatre 503.London Festival Fringe
★★★★ "This play is a deftly-handled peek into the bedroom of four unrelated couples; and Tom Green’s observational comedy is highly watchable... What binds the characters most is that communication issues sleep under almost all pillows and, as the story unfolds the bedroom seems increasingly like a make-or-break gauntlet. Not everyone does makes it, but the insightful writing and honed direction keep you right there with them"Remotegoat
★★★★ "Sharp, funny, touching, dramatic, thoughtful"Spoonfed
: "Tom Green’s punchy play, Talking In Bed at Theatre 503 oozes the sometimes uncomfortable truths experienced by bed-sharers, lovers and mismatches alike...Green exposes the naked truth – literally – and delves into the unspoken, unnamed and uncomfortable with ease and simultaneous daring."
The cast for the production were: Joseph Glynn, Rachel Dale, James Holmes, Ben Farrow, Adele Lynch, Martin Pirongs Vera Chok and Dan MacLane.
Directed by Cecily Boys
Designed by Zahra Mansouri
Lighting design: Simeon Miller
Sound design: George Dennis
Photos by Ben Crawford
My new play Talking In Bed is at Theatre 503
in London from Jan 10th 2011, directed by Cecily Boys for Old Bomb Theatre Productions.
I wonder if Alan Bennett specified how old the writer should be in his new play The Habit Of Art
. Author of a play (within the play) at the National Theatre about an imagined meeting between WH Auden and Benjamin Britten, he is, in this production, in his mid-30s.
While I enjoyed the play enormously, I didn't think for a moment that this character had written what we were seeing on stage - even the deliberately weird bits. And perhaps that didn't matter.
But, given that some of the strongest moments in the play come when Auden urges Britten to stop pussyfooting around and deal with things head-on, it's tempting to ponder whether Bennett thought about making the writer himself.
My new play Fighting
will be produced by the Brockley Jack
theatre in south east London from 23-27 Feb 2010
Here's the press release: Write Now: new play season for southeast London at the Brockley Jack Theatre
Thank you to all writers and companies who submitted scripts to the Brockley Jack Theatre for our festival of new writing in February and March 2010. The theatre received a tremendous amount of scripts from writers based throughout south London.
With some very strong writing and unique voices to consider, it was a challenge to come to the final decisions on the plays we will be working with on this occasion.
In February and March we will be giving the first public performances of Joy Wilkinson's Compression, Tom Green's Fighting and Kate Gallon and Katelynn Hocking's Ruthless. Further details of the productions will be released shortly.
Update (1st March): Fighting - script and production shots
Here's the leaflet for the Write Now Season:
Fighting by Tom Green
Directed by Kate Bannister
Cast: Daniel Brennan, Peter Clapp, Martin Durrant, Davin Eadie, Alex Gatehouse, Laura Glover, Lucy Gratton, Annabel Pemberton
Production: Karl Swinyard & Tanith Lindon
Design: Kate Bannister & Karl Swinyard
Costume: Tanith Lindon
Sound design: Joe Churchman
Lighting: William Ingham
I've never witnessed such a reception for a play. Any play, let alone a new play. Standing, cheering, shouting.
A stunning, heart-breaking, brilliant performance by Mark Rylance and a wonderful, perhaps great, play by Jez Butterworth.
A play about one man, but also about England past and present. I was particularly struck by the sense of the spirit of England belonging to outsiders - in this case a Romany.
Incredibly moving - a woman in the circle was sobbing for the last 20 minutes - and very funny. Bravo.
Last night was the first Scene & Heard show I've been too... and one of the most enjoyable nights I've spent at the theatre for a long time.
Scene & Heard is:
"...a unique mentoring project that partners the inner-city children of Somers Town, London with volunteer theatre professionals, providing each child who participates with quality one-on-one adult attention and an experience of personal success through the process of writing and performing plays. "
Last night's plays were written by 9-11 year-olds and they were all brilliant. The Scene & Heard team had obviously done a great job helping them to develop and structure their ideas but the results were very much the product of the children's imagination (and not a word, we were told, had been changed).
Some of my favourite lines:
"Jam your hype" (from Missing Love by Osman Jallah, aged 9)
"I could kiss you...but you're a toilet" (from The Poison Of The Plan by Yaaseen Khalique, aged 10)
"My name's Dave and I'm the solar system. I work as a chef." (from Solar Cam by Tasmin Aktar, aged 10)
"It's a long story...but I'll still tell you."(from Weather Control by Suban Abdirahman, aged 9)
What was so wonderful was seeing the characters and situations the young writers created being realised with such complete conviction by professional actors. Funny, touching and great theatre.
Every child should have an opportunity to do something like this.
Arcadia is a play that leaves almost nothing to be said. I emerged from the theatre bludgeoned by brilliance. And a little bit tired.
Strange how many plays I've seen in the past year or so that involve people being locked into their own homes. Relocated; The Walworth Farce; The New Electric Ballroom. And now Tusk Tusk by Polly Stenham.
Relocated was very obviously influenced by the Josef Fritzl case (though the Enda Walsh play pre-date it) and I wonder if Stenham was, too. For though her child characters aren't literally captive in their new flat, their mother is missing and they know that, if found, they will be put into care. There's also a basement...
It's a powerful, entertaining and very sad play about how children try to survive parental neglect but are ultimately bound to suffer. Great seeing it in the Royal COurt Theatre Upstairs, so close to the action, and with one of the youngest audiences I've ever seen - the majority must have been late teens or early twenties.
I didn't realise until after I'd seen it that The New Electric Ballroom preceded The Walworth Farce.
The two plays by Enda Walsh share a premise about people trapped in their own homes, but the earlier piece, set in Ireland, doesn't, for me, quite live up to the latter.
There is some brilliant writing - the fisherman's monologues are particularly stunning - but I found the reliance on monologue slightly limiting.
Then again, perhaps it just suffers in comparison to The Walworth Farce which was one of the best plays I've seen for a very long time and full of drama.
Ballroom was more like a poem, in some respects. It reminded me of Under Milk Wood. Dark, lyrical, funny, sexy and full of the vivid life of a fishing village.
I loved the audacity of this - a whole orchestra on stage! - and I loved the way that Stoppard integrates the orchestra into his play so effortlessly. It's playful, clever, funny and moving.
Ecstatically received by the second house of the evening (it only runs 65 minutes). So full marks to the National for innovative programming following on from the short Pinter plays last year.
Perhaps some shorter new plays could be tried at the Cottesloe; as double-bills if necessary. I think several new works have suffered in recent years from over-stretch and would have been more successful cut down to around 70-90 minutes.