KDS One Acts Festival
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Triumphant opening night for KDS in One Acts Extravaganza
Before you continue reading I urge you to watch these six plays written and performed by KDS’s finest. They are short, snappy and enjoyable. By watching you not only support the charity ‘Mind the Gap’ but also the students who poured themselves into writing, acting and staging these excellent plays.
First up is Live Fast by Dan Helsby, a play that focuses on the rise and fall of Harry, an up-and-coming rockstar, a character that each of the cast gets a chance to play. This change is shown through a scarf and sunglasses moving between the cast. Unfortunately frequent scene changes and a difficult to follow script initially hold Live Fast back but thankfully it ends on a high note.
In Alice, James Leaver has woven the traditional Alice in Wonderland tale into a bizarre, drug-filled trip. Annie Piper plays Alice as a ditsy drug-addict who ventures into a Wonderland filled with a bunch of ‘unique’ characters including Jo Flynn’s vindictive Mad Hatter, Matt Maddock’s shrill Queen of hearts and many others. Leaver takes passages straight from the original story and adds several twists that keeps the high-speed tale of Alice superb throughout – culminating in a frankly incredible ending.
David Cooke’s The 11th Hour is a dark tale of a family dynamic pushed to the brink by an impending event that will tear them apart forever. The cast all excel at portraying characters that are standing on the edge. This is great play but I fear that saying any more will ruin it for anyone wishing to see it (take the hint, go see it).
In A Bind by Tom Piggott concentrates on two characters, Sophia and Melanie played by Annie Piper and Hannah Ingleby, who are kidnapped and must decide which one of them can escape. The actors shine in what is arguably the most difficult play to perform, showing us their deepest emotions and making us wish for a happy ending.
I found Annie Piper’s Red Death difficult to follow, having to have it explained to me once it had finished. However the set-pieces were entertaining and made the play enjoyable even if was confusing. The scripting, undoubtedly, showed enormous potential.
When thinking about Mark Fahmy’s My Mother’s Murder the words best and last jump into my mind. George Blake shows his comedic side as the eccentric and very camp Julian who has decided to ‘take care’ of his mother, played by the eccentrically hilarious Matt Maddock. What ensues is twenty minutes of brilliant slap-stick comedy with a script that is wittier and sharper than Maddock’s brutal insults. I would have happily watched this play by itself. Outstanding is an understatement.
Keele Drama Society’s One-Act festival continues Sunday 25th and Monday 26th March. Watch before you lose your chance! Doors open 5pm for a 5:30 start and all that is required to watch is a donation towards the Mind the Gap charity that provides theatrical endeavours to people with disabilities.