The concept of a 24-hour play may seem impossible, but professional theatre director, Joseph Hancock, was able to pull it off flawlessly in a single day of creativity, talent, and determination. On a Sunday evening in November, five, boy-written and boy-directed plays were performed in the Farrer Theatre Rehearsal room, a very intimate thrust-stage setting. Although they did not have the polish of plays which had been in rehearsal for months, the hard work which all the boys put in were highlighted through the spirit and character of their acting, which created an overall atmosphere that was special in its own way.
Although the concept was that these plays would be cast, written, learnt, and performed in a total of 24 hours, the whole production itself only spanned over around 12 hours, far lower than the dedicated amount. The writers were only given two hours to produce a five–ten minute play with their designated cast, and this script were given to the actors nine hours before the start of the show. In that period, the actors were under a lot of pressure and stress to memorise all their lines, listen to their director’s guidance and apply all that knowledge to their performance.
Dress rehearsals – just an hour before the final performance – were a chance for all the cast and crew to sit down, relax, and finally enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Lights off, position, lights on and action!
Master of the Hearth by Toby T
Starting off the show, Master of the Hearth, was the perfect mood-setter; a warm and cosy fireplace in the centre of the stage was a contrast to the harsh winter mood. The play was about a travelling wanderer who found refuge in an aristocratic home. As it progressed, more and more questions seemed to be brought up about the true intentions of the stranger. At the end, nobody expected him to pull out a knife, although we will never truly know what happened to the victim!
Inpatient by Arthur T
Inpatient was a fantastic follow-up play to the sinister traces left behind by Master of the Hearth. Set in a psychiatric hospital, this clever and witty story followed the hallucinations of a crazed widower and his ‘dead’ wife, investigating and exposing the true story behind Jones’ actions and Catherine’s suicide. The blue chairs, completely white costume and faded lights captured the mellow and tawdry quality of the setting, which, at the sudden turn of events, changed extremely effectively, showing the true, real location – the corridor of the hospital.
We’re Always Watching by Hector S
To shake things up, We’re Always Watching combined uncanny aspects with action, throwing the audience straight into the middle of it. There was plenty of dynamic movement on stage, combined with screaming and shouting! However, this was done to great effect, creating twists and turns, constantly making the audience second-guess what was truly going on.
His Bride by Oliver B
His Bride followed the story of a bride who escaped her wedding and was starving to death on the cold ground, torturing herself. Congratulations must go to Charlie L, part of the wardrobe and makeup, who provided this performance with a stunning white wedding dress, making scene feel even more vivid and engaging.
Nuclear Submarine by Thomas B
After an emotion packed evening, the comedy Nuclear Submarine was the perfect way to end the evening. Two marines had stolen a nuclear submarine from the enemy and were in a life-threatening situation. Yet their reactions could not have been more different. Jim, a husband and father, was panicking about everything. On the other hand, Steven was calm, composed and had a relaxed drawl. He seemed to be more concerned with whether he would have the chicken tikka masala or spaghetti bolognaise for dinner. This clever contrast of characters provided the audience with a very balanced and funny performance.
Many congratulations to all involved!