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Seasonal '12

After a sell out run of their maiden production, BackHere! Theatre returns to the London Stage with Seasonal, an evening of short plays jazzed up with some festive spice. Seasonal brings you seven short plays by new and emerging playwrights from all over the UK! As ever, all the writers and directors will be present, giving audience members a unique opportunity to meet the creative team, alongside all the actors as well. So whether you are a budding playwright, a passionate theatre goer or just up for some festive fun, Seasonal promises to have something for you.

Reviews

Reviews of Seasonal
Click Review to read!

A View From the Gods 4*
Everything Theatre 3*
Fred Dean 4* (See Below)

A Review from Fred Dean, a Freelance Journalist.

Seasonal” by BackHere! Theatre Co.

****
Seasonal, the second production by BackHere! took place in the Old Red Lion Theatre - a fringe theatre in Angel. The venue instilled professionalism to a company very much in its infancy.

From the word go it was evident this wasn’t your average collection of Christmas plays. Without a sprig of mistletoe or cracker insight Joshua O’Connor preformed ‘Happy. Now.’ Written by Michael Gilbert. Greg (O’Connor) grabbled with the incomprehensible notion that someone might be unhappy at Christmas, creating an unnerving atmosphere. His slightly unhinged smile coupled with a script that can only be described as a continual tongue twister, was fantastically eerie.

Up next was ‘Bombshells.’ This was hard to place. I would have said comedy but with a few drops of seriousness, which I did not find satirical, confused me slightly. Though funny in places, especially the idea that a father could be happy with his son’s homosexuality but not his vegetarianism, was let down with the continual symbolic use of ‘meat’ and other attempts to force laughs.

Continuing the theme of ‘Christmas with a twist’ came ‘Got It In One’ by Madeline Rice. Rice played Sarah with Joshua Jenkins as Dan. I immediately felt like a fly on the wall, experiencing the very bizarre happenings that follow a one-night stand. In this case they were very unusual, perhaps a little unrealistic. I thought Rice and Jenkins worked well together particularly enjoying the unwanted Christmas present.

Merry Christmas Gordon’ by David William Bryan saw the conflicts between a widow, her son, and her new suitor. Tension arises due to her son, Gordon, (played by Goodchild) having learning difficulties. Tremain gave an effective performance as a mother with abundant benevolence towards her disabled son. It cruelly coaxed me into believing we were headed for some Christmas cheer, which naively was not the case. A great final twist.

Bobby Hirston’s ‘Crimble’ came next. Finally bucking the trend of misery at Christmas we saw the interaction of a couple enjoying, what appeared to be, their first Christmas together. Hirston preformed alongside Doughty an actress with great talent. We followed the highs and lows, the bickering and the kissing, of a couple very much in love. Ending finally on a good surprise!

Best Worst Christmas Ever.’ Written and directed by Matthew Radway was fresh and resoundingly original. Complemented with performances from Hughes, Layhe and Rithin. We experienced the adjudication of a couple attempting to break the record for most consecutive Christmas celebrations. It was clear this fascination with Christmas had warped the characters mental state. Therefore, inevitably, on hearing the bad news they did the most practical thing possible – take the adjudicator hostage. The very short second scene, which I was not expecting, detracted a little from the excellence of this piece.

Finally came ‘Bag the Room.’ Written by, and staring Craig Henry. On awaking, Mark (Henry) finds himself in a hostile environment: a family home on Christmas day. After being re-acquainted with sisters Lara and Eve (Parker and Morgan) he finds to his horror that his incessant lies and drunken charm has led to relationships with both sisters the previous night. As a storm breaks loose we see the grotesque concealment of a used condom and a realistic portrayal of sibling rivalry. The contrast between the sisters was first class with credit going to Morgan and Parker for this. Having witnessed a number of Henry’s plays I can undoubtedly say they do more than entertain, this was no different. Henry brought the evening to a close with a sobering twist.

BackHere! appear to have found their feet, fast. However it is now important that they do not try to run before they can walk. They have come a long way since their debut production ‘Unseasoned’ in the Shooting Star Pub – where swinging a cat would have been a challenge. Upgrading to the Old Red Lion was a wise move. The stock of talent that Henry and Doughty have called upon has been impressive and I look forward to seeing their next venture.