Anyone who follows this blog knows I am a huge fan of Alphabetti Theatre and its writing programmes. I was pretty gutted that one of the many things that got cancelled was its Write Longer day, which was a showcase of new writing – I had my ticket booked and everything (a ticket I actually BOUGHT! WITH MY OWN MONEY!) So I’m pleased to see that some of the scheduled pieces are going to see the light of day, and are being released as audio plays (produced by Ben Dickenson, Coracle and the Six Twenty.)
The first of these was put out online last night – Saluting Magpies, by Wendy Errington. I’m not going to do a proper review – Wendy is a friend, so I’m biased – but I did think it was very well-done, tightly directed by Matt Jamie, performed with skill by Janine Leigh and Lucy Curry (with additional voices including Sam Neale, who I have now seen in so many shows I feel like I’m stalking the poor woman). It handled a tough subject in a way that was both sensitive and almost poetic, with some beautiful uses of language. It’s also short – just over 30 mins – which you know I love. But don’t trust my biased opinion: You can listen to it here.
You can also get information on this and the other shows being put online here.
Also while I was looking for this yesterday on the Coracle site – I foolishly misplaced the details – I found out that Probably by Degna Stone is also available to listen to on soundcloud. I saw Stone do this (or some version of it) as a response piece at Alphabetti way back in the distant past of Going Out and Seeing Shows, and it’s a smart, sharp and insightful look at race, ageing and politics that feels even more timely than ever now. Go give it a listen.
And remember that while these things are free, theatres still desperately need your money. You can donate to Alphabetti here.
(You can also support my theatre writing should you wish to, either by buying me a Ko-fi, or buying my books. If you are skint – and, god, who isn’t, right now – you can help me, and other writers / creatives / arts companies by sharing posts, reviewing books, posting about their shows on social media, etc. Smaller companies and marginalised artists especially need help in keeping their profile high at a time when everyone is competing for attention. You might think the odd RT or share or post on Instagram won’t help, but you could be putting an artist’s work in-front of exactly the right person to help them. I once got a two-year magazine gig from one single post on LinkedIn, so I’m just saying you never know…)