Liz Adams chose an evening of short plays by Pinter, Stoppard and Berkoff as her debut for ADC as a director. Phil Bower, Tristan Kear and Mike Ward played the parts along with Liz.
Victoria Station was chosen as the main challenge and the others were added later to make a reasonable length to the evening and make it worthwhile for those attending. I, for one, am delighted she did as they were not only interesting in their own right but made an entertaining evening much enjoyed by those who attended.
M is for Moon Among Other Things - Tom Stoppard. Typical early Stoppard written as a 15 minute radio play for the series "Just Before Midnight," in which Constance reads from the section M-N of her latest volume of a set of encyclopaedias, whilst Albert is searching the Radio Times. Neither makes any connection with the other. Phil and Liz hit exactly the right note for this snippet.
Dog - Steven Berkoff. Mike was suitably tough and menacing as the dog owner who believes his vicious pet is a misunderstood lap dog. This piece was a wow because Tristan was the most aggressive looking dog I have ever seen a human play. We could feel him looking for an opportunity to bite our legs. Brilliant.
Applicant - Harold Pinter. The applicant (Tristan) is given a bizarre psychological test by the interviewer (Liz) and is reduced to a wreck by the direction taken. Both played their parts straight and believably. Pinter takes a rise out of the trend to replace face to face interviews with "foolproof" psychological tests in the early 1960s. Despite his satire the trend continues and you cannot apply for many jobs today without such tests.
Victoria Station - Harold Pinter. The main event - Phil as the taxi office controller and Mike as the taxi driver. The play is about the controller trying to get the driver to pick up a fare at Victoria Station. The both amusing and chilling dialogue leaves us with questions. Is the driver crazy or taking control deliberately? Is the girl on the back seat, whom he says he loves, asleep or dead? Is the controller being driven mad by the driver? Where is the driver and his car? We were given no answers. The sense of unreality and uncertainty was heightened by his position and the angle of light changing each time just when we thought we knew where he was.
Thank you all for a good evening and well done Liz for putting it all together. A great debut.