Robots, husbands and small bars of soap feature in two plays by Claire Booker which each won a place in the Finals Night of Lost Theatre’s Five Minute Festival earlier this month.
Thirty two short plays were inititally selected to be performed at the 7th annual 5 Minute Festival in Stockwell, south London, over four nights in front of a panel of industry judges. Ten plays won places into the Grande Finale.
Alleluiah was performed by Stephanie James, despite running a high fever on the night. She snatched victory from the jaws of the flu with her wonderfully nuanced performance as Bridget – a woman who shares a bed and bathroom with husband Barry – but not the secrets of her heart.
To view the 5 minute film of the play, please click on:
Ever wondered what life would be life after the Bomb has dropped? Wonder no longer. The food’s unrelenting, the West Wing’s tiny and the staff are work-experience robots. Nuclear Bunker offers a comic take on life underground as Lady Kay (Victoria Otter) struggles to control her scheming robot Grimaldi (Michael Hutchinson) and his side-kick Sasha (Lucy Tippett).
To view the 5 minute film of Nuclear Bunker, please click on: “NUCLEAR BUNKER” by Claire Booker – LOST Theatre 5 Minute Festival
Lost Theatre is a purpose built 180 seater conveniently positioned on the Wandsworth Road (SW8 2JU) between Stockwell tube and Vauxhall tube/overground stations. It has a vibrant and ecclectic programme throughout the year. As well as running the 5 Minute Festival, Lost also runs One Act and Solo festivals. If you’d like to know more about the Lost Theatre, or are interested in entering the One Act Festival (submissions now open) click on: http://www.losttheatre.co.uk
Posted in Comedy/humour, Plays, Theatre Events
Tagged 5 Minute Festival, Alleluiah, Claire Booker, comedy, Lost Theatre, Lucy Tippett, Michael Hutchinson, new plays, Nuclear Bunker, Robots, Stephanie James, Stockwell, The Lost Theatre, Vauxhall, Victoria Otter
My short play ‘Enemy’ (http://youtu.be/7yvt1Z34rEo) was filmed last month at The Lost Theatre as part of their annual 5 Minute Festival.
The play was inspired by the true story of Otto Schimek, a young Austrian recruit to the German Wehrmacht, who refused to shoot hostages on ethical grounds (he was a devout Catholic) and in return was shot as a ‘coward and deserter’.
In my play, Otto spends his final night locked in a cell with Nadia, a Russian partisan who will face a firing squad the next day for assassinating German officers. Can they possibly find common ground?
Russian women played significant roles in partisan operations during the second world war. They could move around with less suspicion than men and proved every bit as determined to remove the German aggressor from Mother Russia in what became known as The Great Patriotic War.
In ‘Enemy’, the role of Otto is played by George Weightman and that of Nadia by Carla Espinoza. They both turned in performances of passionate intensity. The play was performed live in front of an appreciative audience on 10th December at The Lost Theatre, Stockwell, south London.
For more details about The Lost Theatre (including their One Act Play Festival in May) please check their website at: http://www.losttheatre.co.uk
To view ‘Enemy’ by Claire Booker click on http://youtu.be/7yvt1Z34rEo or you can read the script at http://www.bookerplays.co.uk
Posted in Plays, Theatre Events
Tagged Carla Espinoza, Claire Booker, conscientious objector, George Weightman, Lost Theatre, Nazis, Otto Schimek, partisans, Russia, short films, World War Two
‘Cathy’s War’ by Claire Booker won actress, Helen Duff, a Notable Contribution Award in the Lost Theatre’s 29th annual One Act Play Festival last month. The production gained accolades from Paul Vale, Theatre Critic for The Stage, who adjudicated 18 plays over six nights.
“A deeply humane script. It blew me away,” he told the audience. “One of the highlights of the whole Festival has been the performance by Helen Duff in the role of Cathy.”
Cathy’s War is set in Belfast during the 1980s. When Cathy’s young husband is shot dead in army cross-fire, she decides to take revenge into her own hands. But is there one rule for women and another for men in this deadly game of vengeance?
Alexander Forsyth turned in a powerful performance as Cathy’s brother, Gerry, who struggles to understand Cathy’s ‘hands-on’ approach to killing.
Claire Booker was mentioned in dispatches – notable contribution award (writing) – for the script. The production was ably directed by Joanna Greaves, who is one of the founders of the Bread and Roses theatre and has recently launched the Skylight theatre: http://www.skylighttheatre.co.uk
“Claire Booker’s play is not about the Irish question as such, though it colours the whole concept enormously,” reads Paul Vale’s formal adjudication. “This is a play that delves much deeper into the psychology of grief, one of the prevalent themes in this festival and perhaps the most successful play this week at dissecting the process. We mourn the dead but how do we grieve for the living? . . . The pain of loss and ultimately the fear of death resonate throughout Duff’s bravura performance and the strength of her characterisation shapes the play.”
Thanks go to The Betsy Trotwood and Bread and Roses pubs for their kind provision of rehearsal space. Also grateful thanks to Lost Theatre for the use of the photos in this post.
For more information about The Lost Theatre please click on the following link: http://www.losttheatre.co.uk
Posted in Plays, Theatre Events, Women's writing
Tagged AIDS, Alexander Forsyth, Cathy's War, Claire Booker, Helen Duff, Joanna Greaves, Lost Theatre, Northern Ireland, Ulster
What an August it’s been!
Team GB pulled on the lycra, got on their marks and broke world records whilst tucked away in Wales and Surrey, two perfectly formed magazines were hard at work honing their literary muscle.
The result? Issue 18 of The Delinquent and issue 8 of Prole are both out this month and both contain works by Claire Booker.
The Deliquent has published Claire’s short play ‘Lost Property’ which was performed at the Lost Theatre, Stockwell last year and again at The Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden and showcased by 17Percent at Whitstable this year. And for a second time Prole, Poetry and Prose have published two Claire Booker poems, this time alongside work by Sue Pace, David Whelan and Ben C Clark among others. To find out more, or to purchase copies of either magazine, click on:
http://www.thedelinquent.co.uk or http://www.prolebooks.co.uk