Pint-Sized Plays at Small World

There is an appropriateness is putting something pint-sized into a small world, and the fact is the two together worked brilliantly. 

‘Pint-Sized World’, showing last Saturday at Cardigan’s Small World Theatre, offered a varied programme of inventive and  superbly performed short dramas, all of which were extremely well-received by the audience. These short 5-10 minute plays, were originally intended to be performed in pubs when pint-sized was the brainchild of playwright and author Derek Webb, who introduced them as a novel way of taking the dramatic arts, into an already established, social setting, ergo; The Pub.

Judging by the success of their production at Small World, these performance gems are experiencing no difficulties in progressing into taking over other venues.  Since the early days in 2008 when the majority of the few plays performed came in from local people in West Wales, Pint-Sized Plays has become an international playwriting competition and is hotly contested with entries from, among other places, Australia and the USA besides a regular flow from all parts of the UK.

The plays at Small World were presented by Almost Random Theatre who travelled from Oxford to be there and were joined by local mini-companies. The standard of  performing and directing were first class and the plays which had been selected to be produced were a mixture of this year’s winners and a small selection from past winners.

The great thing about a programme like this, is that each of the plays is completely different from the next, since there is no specific requirement laid down for the competitors, other than that the play’s running time is within the stated length. The evening programme opened with Knight Intruder by Dorothy Lambert, a sitcom style, humorous piece, in which Russ Abbot look-alike Richard James, Cheryl Rayner and Nick Wears, set the bar high in the quality of acting, delivery and how to pace humour, in preparation for that which followed, all of which held up consistently to give some brilliant performances. Directors too are to be congratulated on making imaginative use of small space learnt by working in  pubs.

Some of the plays work better than others, and for a variety of reasons. The surreal offering ‘Anger Management for Dogs’ by Rupert Haigh and played by Kyran Pritchard and Dan Abrams was incredibly funny and hugely enjoyable, for those present who may have loved the Monty Python style humour, and the dog-like characteristics, though for some in the audience it was apparent they were not quite sure what was going on. Were these two actors actually playing dogs, sitting at a table? Yes! Brilliant.

There were four of this year’s winners on the programme, all of them well-received. Brought to Book by Lou Treleaven, Roadkill by Clare Reddaway, Eternity by Elan David Garonzik, and Lifetime by Angie Farrow.‘Pint-Sized World. Volume 1’, an anthology of 20 of the winning plays is available from pintsizedplays.org.uk price 9.99. It is an ideal tool for professional theatre companies, drama groups and school drama classes.

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