Off The Press
Hope Street Theatre
Written and Directed by Mark Murphy
(8th-9th June 2007)
Let me start by saying that I love abstract theatre. I enjoy the challenge
of trying to work out what’s going on and the discussions that can
arise from the process. I don’t have to completely understand a
piece of theatre to understand it - but it generally helps.
At the beginning of the rehearsal process writer and director Mark Murphy
presented the company with news stories, and it was these news stories
that became the basis of the story that was presented in the Unity. Apparently
'this random selection of incidents and accidents forms the backbone of
an invented story that revealed itself by the end of the rehearsal process.'
Well I’m glad they knew what was going on because I was completely
confused. I can tell you the plot had something to do with a lonely heart
ad and women, but that’s about it. There were lots of blackouts
and frozen in position actors that after a while made me think I might
have some kind of fit. In praise of the cast they were all very talented,
but I just couldn’t connect with them as I didn’t understand
who they were or what they were doing.
Hot Off The Press had a lot of physical theatre in it, which again was
very good. I just got the feeling the play was being a bit more abstract
than it needed to be and if it had been a touch clearer the audience wouldn’t
have left with confused looks on their faces. As I was leaving the theatre
an astute gentleman said: “If it had been…different, I would
have got it.”
I tend to agree.