Future Perfect is a writers’ collective that in several formations organise readings of their own work. Regulars at The Poetry Café in Covent Garden, they have ventured out to other venues in the run up to their stint at the Camden Fringe Festival.

Yesterday’s hour-long show was held at the October Gallery, a cosy Court Room appropriately bedecked with books, comfortable chairs and woody bits and bobs.

Future Perfect chooses a theme for the night. Each of the four writers had loosely based their story around family and it was interesting to see the differences and similarities in interpretations. Stephen Keyworth’s short stories were full humour, a hint of Hornby and Nicholls, yet with a greater emphasis on the emotional vulnerability of the protagonist. Nothing But Flowers was an interesting perspective on the future without being as bleak as 1984.

Irving Jones chose to read an extract from a novel and one short story, as did Stephanie Gerra. A Novice storyteller I may be, but I prefer short stories for stage adaption; the speed, rhythm and plot is punchy and satisfying for the listener. An extract feels a little slow, as if gaining momentum towards a conclusion that isn’t given the opportunity to fully realize.

Irving’s Marionettes also displayed a wry view of the future. But he really shows off his excellent observational skills in The Pope of New York, about a group of friends in New York, and you are left wondering whether he lived through that moment and wrote it ad hoc in his head.

Stephanie Gerra’s pieces are full of tickly warmth, her sunny description of exotic places and her touching observation of traditional family relations with all of their complexities. She was an animated reader and her enthusiasm could be felt; I particularly liked the description of Nonna’s lasagne. What Nigella does with food Stephanie achieved through word.

The last of the quartet is Em Fleming. She presented her story about the end of the world in a Reading pub in two parts. It was very much a story of our time as the wide interpretation of family did not only apply to the evening but beyond. What is family: blood ties, love or merely a safe space when the world comes to an end?

Theatre lovers, be warned: storytelling is not so much visually theatrical, but aurally. Embrace the experience reminiscent of kindergarten story time – with added swearing and disturbing relationship anecdotes inappropriate for actual children; sit back, relax and ride the waves of the writer’s imaginations.

Reviews by Clarissa Widya

Alice The Musical

Landor Theatre

Best of Friends

Camden People's Theatre



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The Blurb

Safe and loving bosom, or dysfunctional sanity-crushers? Love ‘em or hate ‘em, families get under our skin. Let Future Perfect’s problem children entertain you with wild and bittersweet tales of motherly love, sibling rivalry and top survival tactics.

Sharing their theories of relativity will be favourite aunties Em Fleming, Stephanie Gerra, Stephanie Goldberg; and prodigal sons Irving Jones and the award-winning Stephen Keyworth.

This show will also play at the Camden Fringe in August – watch this space for more news. It’s a family show. Just don’t bring your family.

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