"Innovative shorts but ultimately impermeable"
by Andy Slater for remotegoat on 10/03/10

In this trio of short plays, writer Cyd Casados shows us her varied repertoire with three pleasingly different works but struggles to truly capture the audience with her stories.

The opening performance Do Not Call is thoroughly high concept, as a postal worker committing suicide is interrupted by a telesales call. It's a pithy work which manages to rise some warm laughs from its premise alone but Casados misses a trick by failing to scratch the surface of the scenario and despite a neat bookend to the scene, it feels unexplored.

This is followed by The Interview which follows Elizabeth as she faces the job interview from hell - in more ways than one. This is a conceptually vague but ambitious play which seems to owe more than a slight debt to the internet TV series Mr Diety. It's a cute satire on big business with fine performances from Tova Leigh as Elizabeth and Laura Pradelska as her dogmatic interviewer Liv. In this the writing becomes braver and more fragrant and whilst the final section of it never truly gels, it remains an imaginative riff on corporations while taking a playful swipe at the social construction of womanhood to boot.

The closing piece, On the Permanence of Fugitive Colours, is a two-hander between a sex-worker and her client, an artist, as the closeness and intimacy between them blossoms. Natasha Staples and Bruce Lawrence's performances are relaxed and convincing as lovers even if the characters they are playing are a tad unbelievable. But the text remains creative uses the motif of painting effectively without drifting into esoteric or pretentious territory and the payoff at the end is predictable but rumbles with feeling.

However in this, and the opening two works, Casados's writing is packed full of intriguing ideas but these unfortunately do not translate into hugely watchable characters one can empathise with. I kept longing to plumb the depths of the situations on stage and was slightly disappointed. It also has to be said that whilst scene changes are rarely the focus of any audience, the switches from scene to scene were significantly overlong and had the effect of breaking the momentum the piece had created. Nonetheless Casados is able to move through the gears from comedy to drama efficiently and there is plenty for audiences to get their teeth into.

Casados and Sam German prove competent if unspectacular directors and manage to craft some nimble images on stage and create unity between the diverse source material, demonstrating there is potential for compelling work ahead.

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