Tag Archives: Socks go in the Bottom Drawer

New Drama at the Arts Theatre

Paperback PicturesUpstairs at The Arts Theatre in Covent Garden is a lively venue with a bar at the back for those of thirsty inclination. Pretty handy during a recent hot May night when upwards of 80 people packed into its bijou space to enjoy new dramas by Claire Booker, Aaron Hubbard, Dean Moynihan and Chris York, plus music by Lescines and Rebecca Vaughan.

My play ‘Blue Line Day’ was directed by Paul Heelis and featured Monty Burgess and Leonora Barton in the roles of Michael and Rachel – a couple who can’t live with (or without) each other.  Thank you to all involved for their talent and hard work which really paid off.

We were also treated to a bravura performance by Alexandra Robinson in Chris York’s ‘Build a Rocket’ offering up the joys (and horrors) of childbirth, whilst ‘The Boy Who Built a Clock’ by Aaron Hubbard made us question our prejudices. And Dean Moynihan’s very clever play within a play, ‘This is This’, had us all wrong footed – several times over.Paperback Pictures 2

Paperback Pictures’ bimonthly new writing event, Foot in the Door, showcases work by upcoming theatre professionals. And they’re hungry for more! If you’re a writer, actor, director, musician or theatre technician looking for an audience and a chance to hone your craft, find out how to get involved at:  http://www.paperback.pics/

Sibling productionsIt’s always a thrill when I discover one of my plays has been performed north of the border. ‘Socks Go in the Bottom Drawer’ had another airing in Scotland, this time in the town of Lauder (ashamed to say I had to get the atlas out and find it – just above Galashiels). Thank you to Lauder Amateur Dramatic Association for giving it a four night run in March, and thank you to Comedy Plays for bringing the play to their attention.

If you’re a playwright who is happy for your work to be performed by amateur actors, do check out the possibilities at: www.comedyplays.co.uk/

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Achtung! Booker comedy unleashed on Germany

BuxtehudeSocksOne more European stereotype bites the dust. Germans really do have a sense of humour, as proved by the English Theatre Buxtehude’s production of Claire Booker’s one act comedy ‘Socks Go in the Bottom Drawer’.

Based just outside Hamburg, the English Theatre has been offering German theatre-afficionados a chance to enjoy English drama in its original tongue for the last 27 years.

‘Socks go in the Bottom Drawer’ was directed by Karsten Wildeisen, who taught English at Hamburg Grammar School for four decades. His fine troupe of English-speaking actors included Jürgen Kotisa as Adam (one of the last men to survive after women take-over the world!) and Anja Droge-Jacobs as his zoo keeper.  The funny but feminist programme also included a production of ‘World Without Men’ by Philip Johnson and ran for five performances.

Adam and his inflatable wife!

Adam and his inflatable wife!

buxtehuder-tageblatt-7-1-2013 - Socks

To read an excerpt of ‘Socks go in the Bottom Draw’ please click:  http://www.bookerplays.co.uk

For more information about The English Theatre of Buxtehude click:http://www.englisch-theatre-buxtehude.de

Socks Buxtehude Tageblatt

Churchill, Booker and Ibsen – Visions of Utopia

Hills Players, BrisbaneSabina Head, of Griffith University, Brisbane, has published a fascinating paper in Drama Australia Journal in which she analyses power relationships in Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’, Claire Booker’s ‘Socks Go In The Bottom Drawer’ and Caryl Churchill’s ‘A Number’ and considers how the three playwrights enable their audiences to contemplate alternative futures.

Hills Players (1)Future Studies is a developing branch of academia which looks at the portrayal of utopias and dystopias within a range of fields including drama.  In this particular article, Sabina uses the technique of causal layered analysis to reveal a play’s depth of innovation – how dialogue and action are informed by underlying beliefs and metaphors.  

“In this half-hour comedy “Socks Go in the Bottom Drawer” (Booker, 1991), two women and their daughter visit a zoo cage to see a most interesting exhibit – a man. He shows off for them and flirts with the girl, who is interested but unimpressed by his attempts at seduction. His keeper then entertains him with a story from the distant past, in which “once upon a time, the world was ruled by men” (ibid. p.15). She then tiptoes out, leaving him to sleep. . . .

Hills Players, Australia

” The status transactions are intended to be comic, to make the audience laugh. The metaphor throughout is one of man as a quaint curiosity, of no actual use but seen as a pet to be occasionally indulged in small ways, including the pretence that he is powerful and dangerous. Clearly women control the world; they are beings of power and influence, functioning without men. The metaphors are pushed into contrast in an extreme reversal of traditional male and female roles, throwing macho male behaviour into the spotlight. . .

The plays discussed may make the present appear remarkable; equally important, they make the future debatable. The story ideas generate public response: condemnation or approval, but above all, debate. Encouraging playwrights to add to these few works is a project worth pursuing if they can inform a broad democratic process.”

To read the whole of Sabina Head’s article, please click on the following PDF  – Forward Theatre and Causal Layered Analysis http://www.jfs.tku.edu.tw/17-1/A03.pdf which was printed in the NJ,36, 2012.

To contact Sabina Head directly, please e-mail her at: sabina.head@uqconnect.edu.au

Loose Muse Anthology Spring 13A 5 minute drama by Claire Booker based on ‘Socks Go in the Bottom Drawer’ was recently published in the Spring 2013 Loose Muse Anthology of New Writing by Women. It is entitled ‘Last Man in Watford.’  To buy the anthology or for more details click  http://www.loose-muse.com