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Review of Theatre Shorts 2006

“It is rare that audiences get the chance to see the work of new playwrights, it is rarer still that the new playwrights get to see their plays performed. Yet, with a little magic from Beehive Theatre Company's second season of theatre shorts, this is exactly what happened. The Festival of New Writing 2006 delivered an ambitious six plays by five new writers, presenting us with two nights of a triumphant celebration of creativity. The talented direction and professionalism of the sets created an ambience that was echoed by the strong performances of the cast.

“The opening play, 'Remain at your Desk', written by New Yorker John Schoneboom, was an almost cruel contrast of work and freedom - liberally spiced with his experiences in the 9/11 bombings and peppered with a wry black humour. James Hyde's 'Do You Love Me?' softened the mood with its subtle exploration of forty-something angst and the local author, Mike Venner, rounded up the evening with his acute observations of boys with toys. His stunning portrayal of video game reality, 'Level 7', was intensely rendered by the keen performances of Kevin McConville and Boris Nicholson.

“The second night was equally diverse. 'Butchers' by David McCall seamlessly joined the aficionado and the romantic within a tale of butchery, and Siobhan Phinneys' 'Potato' saw Malcom George and Elaine Kennedy hilariously express all the nuances of a relationship through the unlikely gambit of a meal. Noelle Dold was a thoroughly convincing nurse in the last play of the series, Mike Venners' second offering, 'Emma, Johnny and Jane'; a disturbing reminder of the tribulations of senile dementia.

“Exit the cast stage-left, enter the playwrights stage-right, and as the audience enthusiastically demolished a fantastic spread of 'nibbles' and wine, we learnt, from the horses-mouth, that 'Remain at you Desk' was the advice given to office workers in The World Trade Centre' - and that writing plays was an unsupported art. This is really only half right. If the local council put as much effort into supporting such brave innovations as the Beehive Theatre put into the production, the public would have a resource that brings the refreshing touch of the avant-garde into our lives, and Dingle would have a cultural gem.”

Christopher May.

The Kerryman