Read the article carefully. It tells you about eight plays (A - H). Decide which of the plays goes with the statements on the answer sheet. Sometimes you must choose more than one play.
The Rymington festival.
This year we sent our drama critic Ian Carp to the Rymington play festival. Every two years this festival shows the best productions by new authors. This is what Ian thought of this year's plays.
The festival got off to a bad start with this production by Devon writer Susan Fere. Though she is a successful writer, her play seems to be badly organised. Although it is meant to be a love story, it is hard to like or sympathise with any of the characters. Julie Caraway is hopeless as the farmer's daughter who falls in love with a mysterious stranger, and the stranger, played by Jules Oates tries hard with weak dialogue and a silly story. Summer's End could not end soon enough.
B.Not quite Shakespeare.
I loved this play, but it is not for everybody. The various characters of Shakespeare's plays meet at a party and discuss their roles. Some, like Kate from the Taming of the Shrew, are furious with what the playwright has done with them. So the characters plot to kidnap the writer when he is next completely wrapped up in a play, and ... but I won't reveal the ending. The play is the result of a discussion at a party very like the one which opens the play. But to enjoy yourself, you really need to know your Shakespeare.
C.We meet at last, Mr Domb.
James Domb 007-543302 (office), or 005-934088 (mobile hunter-killer wrist telephone) is not just another James Bond imitator. His fiendishly inventive gadgets are wildly amusing, and the plot is patched together from dozens of Bond books and movies. The result is a fresh and funny look at spy stories and films, all done in the worst possible taste. Animal lovers will be outraged by the exploding hamster scene. The action gets just a little bit tired toward the end, but overall, this is a very good start to Kelly Raymonworth's writing career.
D.Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.
This dark and fascinating study of a young man's rise to international fame as a singer is one of the best plays in the festival. There is a tiny cast - Karel Urilch who is brilliant as the mother who drives her son to success, and Peter Fanway, who plays opposite her as the young genius who pays the emotional cost of her ambitions. The bare settings - dark shadowy rooms without furniture - heighten the mood of the play. Well before the end we know it will finish in tragedy, but the tension still increases toward the finish.
E.Jules@Buuk - primature.
This play is "experimental". Sometimes the stage is empty for minutes on end. There is background music which sounds like someone hitting a dustbin with a tin plate, and sometimes one of the only two characters says something like. "The green grass on our pavements burns life into our forebrains, denying the winter of technology, forcing our cells to be" . Either this is an exciting development in theatre technique, or it is complete rubbish. More than half the audience left at the interval, never to return - I agree with them.
Joe loves Matilda, from next door. Matilda loves Keith, the Vicar, and the Vicar, who is gay, loves Joe. When Matlida writes a love letter to Joe, but does not sign it, and Keith gets the letter, thinking it is from Joe, the stage is set for a comedy full of misunderstandings, outrageous co-incidences, and people jumping in and out of beds and wardrobes. The actors and audiences have a wonderful time with a plot that has rapid-fire clever dialogues, and some terrible puns. There is nothing new about this old-fashioned farce, but it's a great way to spend the evening.
G.The ends of the earth.
Judy Regen is a member of Greenpeace, the environmental organisation. Her play is three different stories featuring the same family, the Timsons. In each act the world dies in a different way. We see the Timsons die of poisoning, starvation, and in a nuclear holocaust. The actors do their best, but the play is a bit hollow - there is too much rhetoric and the characters are not really believable. The result manages to be depressing without being particularly memorable.
A group of campers sit around a fire telling stories. Some stories are legends of the Sioux tribe in America, some from the Ndebele of Africa, and some from the aborigines of Australia. Behind the campers, and unseen by them, strange figures appear and mime the stories that they are telling. With Rik Stones, Judith Ranit, and Carl Manningham among the narrators, the result is original and fascinating. This is one for the whole family.
Was written about something the writer believes in.