So what are you planning to do on Sunday? Recover from Saturday’s exertions, watch the EastEnders omnibus, iron your shirts, lose yourself on the internet. These may all be fine outcomes but if you are looking for something more then I suggest wandering down to the Arcola to dabble in the world of the short-form play.
The Miniaturist Programme has been running since 2005 and is the theatrical equivalent of a bag of Revels. You know that, with five plays clocking in at under 2o minutes each, if you keep going you will eventually find the coffee cream. The short-play format, like the short-story, has struggled to attract the mainstream but the beauty of the form is that it could widen access to theatre to a non-traditional crowd, as in one evening you can showcase a myriad number of possibilities about what the theatre can achieve.
Working as a great showcase for those involved, it also teaches discipline in writing and a ruthless focus on cutting out the extraneous – this is an oft-lost skill for those with resources behind them and many has been the play where fingernails make long-lasting impressions into my palms as scene after scene rolls on with no purpose other than highlighting the vanity of the writer. It is little surprise that two modern masters who sit at different ends of the spectrum – Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter – can both point to superb early work in one-act plays.
So if you’re bored than you could do worse than find yourself at The Arcola at either 17:00 or 20:00 on Sunday 25 November.
Check out more here: http://www.miniaturists.co.uk/index.htm