I went to see ‘Manchester Minutes’ last week. A collection of short plays from ‘Two In A Bed’ based around Manchester.
Evenings like these are a great place for actors to showcase, flex their muscles and to give writers a platform to share and directors a chance to work (although it did appear that two people had done it all?!).
I left at the interval but can talk about the first half. In particular, the second piece which struck me as a prime example of what we talk about in class all the time. A monologue about a woman who as with her daughter when the bomb exploded in 1996. The writing was touching, cute. The actor however made it an exercise in reciting lines. It lacked several things that we’re constantly asking our actors to work for; a journey, a connection to the audience (eye contact or other), an inner life and truth. The actress cried at the end of the monologue when discussing a terrible event that had befallen the daughter, but crying is not connection. Crying is demonstrating sadness so in fact I was completely unloved-the prior ten or so minutes had left me without empathy for the plight of the actor or her daughter. I just didn’t care.
On a positive, good to see Lottie and Debs flexing their muscles in a sweet piece about coming out, love and dealing with one’s identity. Some clunky writing but a nice piece. Also great to see an actor from SWITCH, our young creative team, taking to the stage. Another slightly predictable and clunky script and another actor involved displaying very little to no emotional connection and demonstrating all of his thoughts, but, nice work from the young lad. A final piece had some lovely writing wrong the subject of dementia. A little over written and cyclical but some ‘LOL’ moments.
Good to see these events a regular occurrence now in Manchester and see actors doing their thing! More truth and connection please!