Last week, the Empty Space featured two original plays written by boys. Both radically different in style and substance, they explored themes of identity and existence through the medium of verse and comedy respectively.
A New Play, written and directed by Leo B was a thought provoking and stylised exploration of identity in the face of grief. It follows Sim, played by Angus WG, a 17-year-old who after suffering the loss of his father, seeks to understand his identity in his interactions with others. In interacting with friends and family he finds himself equally empowered and dumbfounded, finding new aspects of himself in every encounter. Underscored by wonderful lighting and sound design, the play’s carefully nuanced characters bought this piece of writing to life.
Salad, written and directed by Thomas B and Alban N, took a rather different approach. Set after an apocalypse, it centred on a group of people believing themselves to be the last on Earth. One might expect such a theme to be dealt with heaviness – on the contrary, what made Salad so enjoyable was its use of comedy to contrast the moments of pathos and despair.
The structure of the play revolved around the character Martha, played by William H, the designated chef of the group. Through her interaction with her fellow survivors, we discovered Martha’s ever-increasing yearning for their situation to end. As the play continued we learnt she was preparing their last meal, dosed with hemlock. This story was an emotional rollercoaster full of conflict and heart-warming friendships as well as great loss. The excellent use of flashbacks along with sound, lighting and breaking the fourth wall made this piece hilarious, hard hitting and incredibly entertaining.
It was a treat to experience two incredible pieces of new theatre which were directed and written by boys exceedingly well. We are so excited to see what great things they all go on to do in the future!