By Will Gore
Venue: Orange Tree Theatre
Date: Saturday 10th December 2011
We stayed to see the response piece for Next Time I’ll Sing To You. Called Hearing the Song, it lasted fifteen minutes, and was a much more interesting little play than the work that inspired it, in my view. It was written by Will Gore, with a cast of two – Alex Mugnaioni and Huw Parmenter – and it was a very good short piece, with a number of echoes of the main play.
The two actors introduced the play as ‘themselves’; the writer character wanted to get a move on as they only had ten minutes, while his brother kept going off track – telling us about his limited amateur acting career, questioning the authenticity of the script, wanting to know where his long speech had got to – and had to be brought back to the point by the writer. This sort of thing went on in NTISTY, one of the echoes.
The subject matter of the play was an interaction between the brothers some years before, which was dramatised in a scene where the brother visited the writer early one morning at the writer’s request. The story that gradually emerged – not too gradually, obviously – picked up on a major theme of NTISTY, that of grief. The writer brother had been seeing his mother, long dead, and hearing a tune that she used to sing. The brother wasn’t entirely sympathetic, although as he’d apparently laughed out loud when the writer originally told him, he was being much kinder in the reconstruction.
The play ended with the brother going off to work, and telling the writer to take care of himself. For such a short play, and with very little rehearsal time, the two actors got a lot of detail into their performances, and with the humour in the writing as well, we enjoyed this very much. It probably also benefitted from us finding the main piece a bit dull, but even so we were well impressed.
© 2011 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me