Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Women Behaving Badly - the review

What a night it was; it really was, such a night!  Every seat taken for the script in hand performance of 10 mini-plays on the theme WOMEN BEHAVING BADLY.  The authors were perverse as ever. Instead of bawdy exchanges between binge-drinkers we had mostly needle-sharp bitching, greed and bigotry. Entertaining though. There were two early fallers, LIFE’S IMPENDING CHANGE by Judy Acton and LEOPARD’S SPOTS by Dimitry Devriani.  In each case we were treated to what appeared to be Act 2 of a longer work and we found ourselves wondering what had happened in the missing Act 1. In each case the reading over-ran the 10 minute limit by a considerable margin.

Of the rest MENAGE A TROIS by Alex Barr scored 116: it concerned two women fighting over the husband of one [to be played on stage by a realistic store dummy unaware of the wife’s bit on the side]. THE SWEETEST VICTORY by Ags Irwin, about murdering the Prime Minister with chocolate cake, scored 122 and CREED by Matilda Lovelace scored 123.  Her plot hinged on the choice of paint for a designer kitchen.  They were each witty plays by new members who had to learn the hard way that scripts do not fare well on an unrehearsed reading, script in hand, if they depend on props and set design.  Next time they will be in the top three.

In the upper half we had LOOKING AFTER MA DIXON (141 points), an unpleasant tale by Giles Armstrong about a hanging carried out in Arizona by a couple of horrible women.  The script was almost redeemed by fantastic cowboy accents from Phil Mison as the poker-playing hangman and Lynne O’Sullivan who was happy to stand in for him, so he could finish the game in the saloon bar (where else). In fourth place was Peter Vincent’s KISMET with 143 Points in which a newly dead woman (Lynne again) had her wish to return to earth for 3 minutes granted by Tony Diggle who couldn’t be bothered with her soul but had fun with her body.  In another part of the Tony Blair coffee lounge the newly dead Carrie Cohen awaited a visit by a young man whom she had invited to fix her hamster’s wheel, which was stuck. Oh yes?  The location of these bizarre events remained unclear but got some good laughs. In third place, with 159 points was Lynne O’Sullivan’s SHORT BREAK, a Dolce Vita play in which Silas missed his hot date with Sevda in apartment MADRAS by knocking on the door of apartment MUMBAI and disturbing Anthea and Phil Philmar in a terminal embrace.  Their Italian accents were so strong they almost needed sub-titles.

There was an interesting surprise in second place.  Peter Skyte, whose novice’s entry in an earlier competition fared miserably, threw together a very broad comedy in a butcher’s shop involving female customers who spoke in Malapropisms (Elizabeth Trueblood was particularly convincing) and the vicar’s daughter with Tourettes syndrome (Sevda again) and a benign John Morrison who acted as interpreter and purveyor of unmentionable parts of an elephant. Peter scored 164 points without giving his play a title.  Finally, in first place, was MULLERED by Debbie Maya (166 points) which gave us what we had been waiting for: a drunken chat show host, Denise O’Leary, slagging off her guests, Sevda, whom she accused of having legs in different postcodes, and Lynne, to the despair of Phil Philmar and his production team who occupied half the stage and much of the action.  A worthy winner.

Peter Thompson   10 June 2015
PS FINAL WARNING!!! Any future competitor whose emailed script is not exactly the same as the hard copy handed out on the day will be disqualified!

No comments: