Theatre West


Richard III by The Studio, Bristol Old Vic
In January Theatre West made their first visit to The Studio with this timeless play by Shakespeare. This gave the company a chance to show Bristol audiences that they can handle the classics with the same vibrancy that gives their contemporary work such an edge. A giant spider loomed over this energetic, powerful production.

Autumn Season at The Alma Tavern
September saw the opening of a storming 12 weeks of dynamic modern writing, with two late 20th century plays and three brand spanking new scripts.

We kicked off with David Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago, a wry look at men, women and the connections they try to make. It's razor sharp dialogue induces in turn both buttock clenching cringes and ghastly feelings of recognition.

Next up were three new plays selected from over 70 new plays submitted as part of our Search for a Script scheme.What's the Time Mr Wolf? introduced us to Conrad Kordover - an odd man with strange habits. When a murder is committed on his doorstep it isn't long before the police come knocking. Vincent Cassar's powerful and humorous playwriting debut explores the world of the loner living in a society where justice must be seen to be done - whatever the price.

Set in a peasant's hut in Somerset in 879, Aelfreda and the Burnt Buns by Dot Burrows is an irreverent retelling of the legend of 'King Alfred and the cakes'. This time the story is told by the woman who had her buns burnt. Aelfreda is an unlikely champion for all the unsung housewives of history.

Stairway to Heaven by Steve Hennessy gave us an insight into the testosterone fuelled power struggles that must happen on every building site the world over. But this construction gang are ancient Egyptians and the object of their sweat is one of the great pyramids at Gisa. At turns both violent and tender, the brutal life of these ordinary men drew surprising parallels with life in the 21st century.

The season ended with Three More Sleepless Nights by Caryl Churchill, one our most inventive and successful writers. Take three bedrooms, add three couples but definitely no sleep and you have the ingredients for a less than peaceful night! Churchill's sharply observed pictures of what happens in the privacy of the bedroom, and her crackling dialogue, are funny and alarming; three little slices of life in the raw.