Pre-View:

Though not a play in the strictest sense, this showcase of extracts from the Playwriting MA at Edinburgh University offers a compelling insight into the program, via the portfolio of selected students. Professional actors and a director collaborate on a rehearsed reading of a student’s work in progress and present the result as part of the festival. The resulting effect is understandably a little rough around the edges, yet it provides an insight into the creative process that audiences are often denied.

What the evening does provide is a glimpse of exciting future work in its infancy.

On the night I attend, the astutely chosen plays show great variation in style and content: one, a farce about an ageing pantomime dame who longs to play Cymbeline rather than Cinderella, while the other details a suicide prevention mission undertaken by a murderer in a women’s prison. As the director of the program quips during the interval between the two plays, ‘And now for something completely different!’ Never have truer words been said.

There are no costumes or lighting effects, the set is limited to a table and a few chairs and all the actors carry scripts, so questioning the artistic or character decisions for both plays is unfair. What the evening does provide is a glimpse of exciting future work in its infancy, an opportunity for collaboration between professional actors, industry professionals and emerging student playwrights.

Charlotte Laidig’s Dame is a madcap caper through the absurd world of pantomime, featuring clueless agents, aggrieved pantomime horses, divas and downtrodden Drama students. Laidig’s writing has a light, assured touch and the comedy sequences show a lot of promise. Jacqueline Crichton’s Numb had the difficult task of following fluffy comedy with a gritty social drama about one prisoner’s desperate attempts to provide a listening service to suicidal inmates. Maureen seems to show no remorse for her crime, yet the warmth and empathy she shows towards the other female prisoners complicate any opinion we may have on her morality. Maureen’s complicated relationships with her troubled roommate Hannah and prisoner officer Howard are sensitively explored, Crichton refusing to pass judgment on the innocence or guilt of any of the trio.

Pre:View provides an intriguing peek behind the stage curtain at the playwriting process, that in turn cultivates the work of graduating students.

Reviews by Laura Francis

theSpace on Niddry St

The Bastard Queen

★★
Traverse Theatre

Pre-View:

★★★
The Assembly Rooms

A Split Decision

★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Show Off

★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Four readings; four new plays; four emerging and established playwrights from Scotland, England, Wales and South Africa. Level by level, a woman games designer plays the game of her life against the trolls who torment her in the virtual world. In a bear pit, six chosen victims are forced to fight to the death. Serving out her sentence, a female lifer battles for the other women around her to choose life. A clown takes a deep breath and steps onto the stage in one of Shakespeare’s most challenging roles. Performed as script-in-hand readings by an ensemble of professional actors.

Most Popular See More

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets