This was certainly the best piece submitted with good characters and nicely understated dialogue illustrating the shortcomings of blinkered bureaucracy when faced with age old wisdom and situations outside the range of the tick box culture. The twist of producing the technological blackberry when juxtaposed against the fruit was inspired. As with most of the submissions, the author occasionly uses stage directions to indicate what is clear or implied in the dialogue – mercifully not very often.
Act of Contrition
An intriguing study of a relationship which foundered on the rocks of convention but was deeper than the protagonists realised at the time. The setting of the funeral of one of them allows a candid examination by his shade without the need for the conventions of normal dialogue. This unusual treatment has given the piece good dramatic strength. The author should, however, have avoided trying to direct the whole piece, leaving that to the director and actors who are to perform it. Excessive direction of mood, emotion and movement is often a distraction rather than assistance to the performers who will develop their own interpretation.
The King has no Clothes
This piece has captured the atmosphere of backstage in tatty variety beautifully. The vanity of the principal character is well expressed, although the occasional stage direction indicating emotional state has crept in. This is always best left to the actors, who will provide their own interpretation in performance guided by the actual dialogue. The twist at the end is well thought out and logical. I found the piece somewhat nostalgic as I have worked briefly in variety myself.
Interesting contrast brought out between town and country reactions to what at the moment is a topical disaster. The dialogue leads subtly to the realisation of one character’s complete tragedy very well although I suspect that many directors might want to strengthen the ending. Some unnecessary stage directions for action implied by the dialogue, but on the whole a well constructed piece.