Seeing new writing performed for the first time is always exciting, but to see eight new pieces performed in one night is quite the treat. Full Disclosure Theatre have curated an evening in which new and emerging writers have the opportunity to present works with an LGBTQ+ narrative in Xposed at The Hen and Chickens Theatre.
The eight plays are performed over two hours, so they are all relatively short, but there is no uniform length. There’s a fantastic mix of stories being told, and artistic directors, Chris Davis and Sam Luffman, have done a marvellous job of bringing them all together in a coherent fashion. Moving from sadness to comedy, and back again, taking care not to allow one to overshadow another.
The result is a very professional, and well-presented showcase of these new talents. Each one has the time and breathing space it needs to resonate with the audience, and you feel you are getting the best out of everybody.
As is often the case with works in progress, the audience are handed feedback forms as they enter the theatre, and given the chance to provide commentary on each of the pieces they see. What is then a welcome surprise is how polished each of the pieces are, it doesn’t feel like any of them aren’t the finished article.
There are some particularly poignant pieces; Jack O’Neill gives a brutally honest performance in Nick Maynard’s Fluid, which opens the evening on just the right note. It ends too, on a similarly touching piece, in the form of Pray Your Wings Will Carry You, by Oakley Flanagan, which has been fantastically directed by Alex Prescot, allowing Hassan Govia and Josh Enright to give truly meaningful performances.
Angus Fisher’s The Scene is filled with sensuality and heart-break, helped by a particularly endearing performance from Freddie Wintrip. While Stars by D.J. Sylvis, tells a beautiful story of two lovers separated by 13,460 kilometers. Something About Billy, by Mark Daniels and Gold Star by Roisin Moriarty, both tackle lack of understanding, they have very different endings but the message is similar.
The Temp shows off the masterful story telling techniques which are fast becoming a trade-mark of David Hendon. It’s a fairly ordinary tale, but one which becomes engrossing in the hands of the writer.
For me, the most enjoyable play of the night was One Night Fran by Adam Szudrich. Olivia Davies, Reena Lalbihari and Tori Louis all describe a date with the same girl, with each of them having very different experiences. Not only is it very funny indeed, it’s filled with twists and turns which keep you guessing at every juncture.
Xposed really does what it says on the tin, there are no sets, and the only props to speak of are some chairs and a table, even the lighting is fairly minimal, but that does allow the writing to come to the fore. Superb writing it is too, out of eight plays not one of them felt like it didn’t belong, and coupled with some brilliant performances, makes Xposed the kind of triumph of a showcase which London desperately needs more of.
Photos by Edwina Strobl