Waiting - 20 Monologues at The Southville Centre (2006)

“Innovative, original, magical” – Venue 2006

The title of this all-day event, staged by Show Of Strength Theatre Company, might give visions of bearded scribblers earnestly reading out their stuff from a lectern. Wrong. The 20 pieces were, in fact, short solo playlets, each only a few minutes long, performed by seven actors in nine different spaces in the building.

To see them, you had to rush from room to room, consulting the programme to see what was on next, or what you had missed; or pause in the café to absorb what you’d seen and ask others what they’d seen; or if you so wished, see one you especially liked again. You could find yourself in a room with a mashed-up surfer telling how he got mashed-up but is still lyrical about surfing; you could be listening to the emotional dilemmas of a bullied eight-year-old at her birthday party; you could, memorably, be in the gents’ toilet at a wedding listening to a slightly tipsy guest discourse hilariously about why marriage is OK but weddings are awful.

Particularly moving was Claire Williamson’s piece about a dog with a troubled, suicidal owner. Craig Edwards’s finely-judged canine performance was just heart-stopping. But there was more, much more. This was a theatrical experience unlike any other: the talent of the performers and writers, and their breadth of imagination and range of moods, seemed to compress a whole fringe theatre festival into six hours. The intensity of the images stayed with me for days. Innovative, original, magical. Do it again please.

VENUE, April 2006

Show Of Strenth Theatre Company
WAITING at The Southville Centre 1&2 April 2006

Audience comments/feedback

“Fantastic idea- brilliant idea!! Some great writing and fabulous acting. Please do this again- theatre needs waking up and this feels original and fresh!”

“Worth every penny and a brilliant idea.”

“Please do this again soon.”

“Stunning collection of personal insights, Well Done!”

“Fantastic, well done all of you. One little comp: no mention in the programme of which parts/plays the actors were performing. Otherwise – great! Do it again!”

“Genius. Strong, simple idea: Theatre that is pacey, intimate, engaging and a genuine ‘happening’ Viva S.O.S.”

“Very enjoyable, what talent there is around both in writing and performing!”

“…truly spectacular performances and writing. Look forward to my next SOS.”

“Wonderful, originality and variety and superb acting. More please.”

“Excellent idea- really enjoyed the range of work.”

“Great! The best £5’s worth I’ve had in a long time.”

“Wow! What a fabulous event this is. Brilliant scripts and wonderful actors.”

“Absolutely Brilliant- not had such fun (and tears) for ages.”

“…fantastic afternoon, a mirror to our lives- and a wonderful audience. Thanks.”

“This was a fabulous way to spend an afternoon. Wonderful.”

“A roller coaster of emotions – Great!”

“Wow- what an afternoon-deep, intense, delightful. Thanks for Southville Centre too.”

“Enjoyed the performances. Would have liked to have seen work which represented the cultural diversity of Bristol though.”

“Brilliant, comedy and tragedy in one package. More please.”

“What an achievement- a brave experiment and super successful. Now I want to see the ones I missed… Southville building is perfect on this sunny Sunday.”

“What a fantastic performance! A really moving monologue which very accurately captures the all-too common experiences of waiting for a doctor in a mental health environment. Very well written.” (of All Fall Down)