Big Bite-Size Lunch-Hour 1

Gareth Brierley, Jonathan Kaufman, Andrew O’Keefe, Matt Cassarino, Chris Widney

Bite-Size Plays

Pleasance Dome

From 05 August 2017 to 28 August 2017

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

To complement their programme of 16 Breakfast Plays, the Big Bite-Size team has chosen six of the best from past years for a lunchtime slot.

Nice People by Gareth Brierley

A man and woman appear on TV to talk about their happy marriage. At first, the pair, played by Stephen Laycock and Rowena Gray, seem as bland as any on daytime TV chat shows. However, when the couple reveal how they met, the story takes an unexpected turn.

The Interpreter by Jonathan Kaufman

First time around, this stood out so it was an obvious choice for a re-run. Billy Knowelden plays a uniformed and heavily medalled politician from a Banana Republic entering into negotiations with a US diplomat played by Thomas Willshire.

Their words are translated by Rosie Edwards, who ends up in the middle of a dangerous battle of egos that threatens all-out war.

Uncomfortable Silences by Andrew O’Keefe

Stephen Laycock is a man recalling an on-off relationship with a woman whom he loves but never manages to tell.

Key to the Mystic Halls of Time by Matt Cassarino

Key to the Mystic Halls of Time focuses on Thomas Willshire and Stephen Laycock as two sleeepless men who communicate via avatars in some weird gaming scenario.

Both are obsessive, ignoring loved ones and real life, with amusing consequences. This goes a little deeper than a light skit, showing how obsessions can be harmful.

Match Point by Chris Widney

A tennis match between a Russian teen and American veteran, respectively Rowena Gray and Rosie Edwards, becomes a metaphor for something deeper.

Their interior monologues reveal much about sports and life, while the agonies of the world’s silent are expressed by the umpire and ball-boy. Humour is never far away either.

Perfect Stillness

The final play is about an ending, as Thomas Willshire prepares a eulogy for the coffin-bound but sentient Rosie Edwards. Home truths come out at the worst time to good comic effect.