"Fifteen love hit and misses"
by Coco Hall for remotegoat on 26/10/10

Made from Scratch are a young theatre company with an emphasis on new writing and giving a voice to young artists, which will inevitably mean the plays are less polished. Though some of this inexperience really came across, and there were a few moments where it felt like we were in the presence of the Kids from Fame, there were a few delights in this ambitious night of new writing.

We were promised 25 actors, 15 love stories, 12 directors, 10 writers... as you might imagine this was a collosal undertaking and to produce a show that ran so smoothly and was so fluid is a great achievement.

Of the 15 short plays, 2 really stood out, First Date by Rose Lewenstein, and We Made It Happen by Kate Hollowood.

First Date tells the story of a couple preparing for their first date. A young man and woman are getting ready to go out, and tell the audience about their hopes and dreams. Dialogue overlaps, and the bitter-sweet flush of first love abounds. It was sweetly told and well acted.

We made it happen was a monologue about Myra Hindley. It was well researched and performed by the writer/actor. As a first play, it was a very impressive debut.

Of the other plays, they were pretty much of the same standard, competent, but also displaying flaws. Most of the plays started well and contained good ideas but did not live up to their promise. There was also a rather sweet innocence to the tone of the plays which the more love-scarred in the audience may have found a bit naive.

The acting was overall of a very high standard and the direction good with seamless set changes. There was a company devised piece and a physical theatre piece which shows the company are willing to explore non-traditional ways of theatre-making.

New writing nights like this are incredibly important as part of developing a new writer is learning how your play comes across with actors. However, it does mean the audience can sometimes get a mixed bag. Too much telling, not enough showing. Some of the writing was very raw, with not enough variation in the way the writers wrote about the topic, but this will come with experience for those who want to write more. It is worth noting though that a new writer is not necessarily a young writer, and future night could benefit from more diversity in the ages and experiences of the writers.

Made from Scratch is a great way to see lots of new writing, if you don't mind taking a chance.

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