Held at The Traverse, a theatre that prides itself on supporting new writing in all its forms, Pre:View gave its audience an exciting insight into the process of perfecting play scripts. The showcase was comprised of two powerful readings of scripts written by students from the University of Edinburgh. The performance of each reading is only to happen once, so if you’re interested in the progression of playwriting, the second showcase held on Monday 19th August comes highly recommended.

The professional actors were seated in a curved line across the stage, the script their only prop. This directed the emphasis away from the visual and towards the auditory, encouraging a thoughtful approach from the audience, which felt suitable for an evening concerned with polishing play scripts. However this did not detract attention from the successful performance of the actors who, in spite of their sedentary stance, all conveyed potent feeling.

The first reading, from ‘Three Lives’ by Helen Grøn, followed the torment of failing heart surgeon Morna Murray, as she desperately attempts to stop her shaking hands by visiting an alternative therapist. So immersive was the performance that it seemed a reading of the script was its ideal form of delivery. The minimal movement on stage forced an igniting of imaginations, and soon the tumult of voices transported the audience into the confusion of Morna’s mind.

The second reading was taken from ‘Two Girls’ by Rosanna Hall. This play follows the search for two missing school girls, a moving and passionate piece of writing. However, the reading suffered as the script demanded more physicality in delivery and so where ‘Three Lives’ became hypnotising, ‘Two Girls’ was stifled. However as the focus of the script shifted to the media, rumours and hearsay, the reading became an increasingly conducive mode of performance.

There is something inherently exciting in that these scripts will only be performed once in their current stage. This sense of transience combined with excellent performances by the actors definitely makes it worth you sneaking a preview next week.

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.
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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.
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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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

Four readings, four brand new plays, four emerging writers from across Europe. Writers Helene Grøn, Rosanna Hall, Matthew Knights and Jenny Knotts are all graduating from the MSc in Writing for Theatre and Performance at University of Edinburgh.

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