Hannah Mulder, Joe Harbot, Corinne Salisbury, Laura Lindow, Matt Hartley, Tracy Whitwell
Live Theatre and Theatre503, part of Fuses, the Live Lab 2012 New Writing Festival
Live Theatre, Newcastle
PLAYlist has been a feature of Theatre503's programme for some years, both in the London venue and at the Latitude Festival. Writers are challenged to create a play based on a song and that play must last no longer than the song itself.
Now Theatre503 and Live Theatre have cooperated to bring the event to the North East and the programme consists of plays by three London-based playwrights (Hannah Mulder, Corinne Salisbury and Matt Hartley) and three based in the North East (Joe Harbot, Laura Lindow and Tracy Whitwell).
It's a great concept and places huge demands on the writers, not least the need to keep character development, plotline and dialogue as tight as possible - and that can only be a good thing.
The six plays in this programme - Indelible by Hannah Mulder, You Should Be Happy by Joe Harbot, Last Night by Corinne Salisbury, Collision by Laura Lindow, Wild Wood by Matt Hartley and Quantum Runaway by Tracy Whitwell - met these demands in varying degrees and if there was some occasional obscurity, that can be forgiven.
Four actors - Letty Butler, Iddon Jones, Jason Langley and Kate Sichel - under the direction of Derek Bond were well up to the challenge of creating convincingly different characters in such a short space of time.
The aim of the Fuses festival is to showcase new writing, especially of course, new North East writing, and this kind of event is a valuable addition for it gives NE audiences a wider perspective and allows them to see how our local writers measure up to what is being done in London.
And do they measure up?
Reviewer: Peter Lathan