Thursday, February 23, 2006

Our Style is Legendary

Writers' Block is a brilliant idea. The Operating Theatre Company has brought together a week of new plays, all given readings at the Tristan Bates Theatre. The key to the benefit of a seated reading is that it comes at the right time for the script and its writer. With minimal light, no sets, and only a short rehearsal process, you put your piece up for scrutiny. And I've seen a lot of plays crack under that pressure, laid bare and flattened by the exposure that it simply wasn't ready to handle. Luckily, this time the play was more than prepared, and so it was a pleasure.

Daniel Hoffman-Gill is a graduate of my course, a performer, writer, and director. He has written Our Style is Legendary with a completely absorbing tone of familiarity. The detail and depth of character in these teenaged boys is genial and real. They are the type of guys that everyone knows, and yet Daniel avoids the temptation to make them cliche and vague. And while it is clear that the writer knows these circumstances all too well, it never crosses the line into distractingly self-referential; the characters are built strong enough to stand on their own. What a pleasant experience for my first proper London play reading. I look forward to more, and wish Daniel and his lovely cast good luck.

From the program sheet,
"Our Style is Legendary is the true story of three boys growing up in the St. Ann's area of Nottingham. It takes place over a period of five years from 2001-05, following the boys transition from 12 to 16 and charts the essential nature of teenage male friendship, hewn from the reality of the estate, the waste grounds, the car parks, the boarded up shops and empty community centres. It is a story of boys becoming young men and struggling to escape the background they're born into: railing against the poverty and the emptiness around them and turning to each other for someone they can trust to go with them on their journey."

More readings at the Tristan Bates each night at 7:30 pm through Saturday!


Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Just found your blog, thanks for coming to visit and see my show, I'll come by here often and I hope our paths cross.

9:44 AM  

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