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.