WHILE treading the boards at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) do outreach work with up-and-coming writers and the names Ali Muriel and Rosalind Wyllie are well worth taking note of.
Two 45-minute pieces were rehearsed for four days and presented with script in hand to a capacity 160 audience at the small but intimate Live theatre.
Ali Muriel’s piece, Reality, was a psychological thriller starring James Howard as Jeremy Gates, a man who sees conspiracies in government misinformation.
His stream of letters to MI5, about things such as why crime figures are going down but public fear of crime is going up, and why were we subjected to warnings about an international bird flu that never happened, reflected his paranoia.
Was there really a conspiracy?
It was good writing and very well acted but the all-toofamiliar twist that characters on stage are only imagined was a bit of an anti-climax.
Newcastle-based Rosalind Wyllie’s excellent contribution, Future Regrets, started with zombies and took us into the cyberworld of chat rooms. It was an inventive and theatrical backdrop to Laura (Mariah Gale) and Tom’s (James Howard) honeymoon in Venice.
They’d met only a short while before and then reality hit: Tom’s a computer nut who preferred to spend his honeymoon killing zombies.
To discover the truth about her new husband, Laura contacts his chatrooms chums, all of whom are either mad, boring or sad – but very entertaining.
Not out of place working beside RSC heavyweights like Sam Troughton, local actresses Victoria Elliott, Sarah Lewis Obuda and Karen Traynor were superb, reflecting the writing and acting talent we have in the region.