The final production of the year from city centre theatre group Grin Productions has just enjoyed two successful nights at the Lantern Theatre. The group exists to encourage new writers, performers and directors, so it was good to go along and catch a host of up and coming creatives bring together this double bill.
The first show, Push, needed little more than a chair to accommodate the one-man play. The other, On the Edge, created a world of Reservoir Dogs-style retribution on a budget of £20.
Push, by writer Wes Williams, is a monologue that owes as much to Alan Bennett as it does Michael Douglas in Falling Down. As our antihero Craig, Glyn Andrew (below) gave a confident and impressive performance, slowly revealing his character to be someone a long way from the regular Joe on the morning commute he first appeared to be.
His work gave an extra push (no pun intended) to a script that had potential but was sometimes slightly too over-melodramatic; nevertheless, it took a compelling – and unsettling – look at rage and masculinity.
On the Edge is a new work by writer Sam Freeman. A short, two-act Pinter-style play featuring two unnamed protagonists with a dark nonchalance about their gruesome line of work, it featured Jonathan Roberts and Mike Wharton (top) as, presumably, hitmen. We start at the end and work backwards to establish who these people are, what they’ve done and why.
A rather smart and wordy script seemed as if it threatened to overwhelm the actors on occasion – so things could have been snappier — but together the pair had a big likeability factor and enough charm about them to muddle through, and there were plenty of big, intentional laughs despite the macabre plot.
All in all, these two works complemented each other nicely and made for a decent showcase for Grin Productions, introducing new shows that hopefully have bright futures.