The One Hour Plays

The idea behind The One Hour Plays is that through audience involvement a script can be written, cast and performed with the appropriate costumes, props and music in under an hour. A task of this magnitude requires great talent, which the Matey Institute indisputably has.

The host, our director for the afternoon, was sparky and his energy carried the show. After helping us to come up with a plot involving Leo the Brazilian hairdresser, Rosie the raven and Judge Dread, within the first half hour the writer came up with a passable script, with chuckle-worthy moments. Meanwhile, we were distracted by the actors, who played various improv games involving the alphabet: some successfully, some less so. A musician expertly tackled first the accordion, then the violin and then a saw, adding that it was apparently a commonly used instrument for sci-fi and horror genres. The aesthetics were mystical and professional, as all the actors were clad in fabulous pirate costumes and the stage was decorated with multi-coloured flags.

At first the audience loved the power and the freedom of shouting out suggestions for props, characters, locations and time-zones but this novelty soon died down. As is inevitable with improv, it didn’t always work and wasn’t always very funny, with attention lilting and dipping throughout the show.

Although many theatre and comedy-goers might prefer something written, directed and rehearsed prior to the performance, this is a must-see for improv enthusiasts. It will also be enjoyed by adults and children alike as well as anyone looking to experience something a little out of the ordinary.

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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Improvised comedy from guerrilla artisans... With help from the audience, our ten-minute plays are conceived, devised, costumed, scripted, musically scored, and staged in only one hour. Anneka Rice meets Art Attack at a gypsy knees-up!

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