"Much better than Group One"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 27/09/12

After a disappointing opening night, Group Two of the Off Cut Festival saw a return to form. "Muse of Fire" and "Driven" were the clear winners of the evening. However, "Buzz Kill", "Nice Sally" and "Boards" were also worth watching and could also do well if they make the final round.

Chaps by Rupert Laight - This examination of the ups and downs of a gay couple running a bed and breakfast and their relationship may not to everybody's taste. Indeed, the main character's jealousy and bitchy outrage come across as a bit stereotypical. However, the happy ending works well. [3/5]

Driven by Adam Udsen - This monologue about a driver with some very unusual passengers was both original and well written. Director Chris Carr deserves credit for getting a sensitive performance from Andy Snowball. [5/5]

Futures by William Patterson - This comedy about two unemployed futures traders in the aftermath of an economic apocalypse was deliciously surreal. However, the actors delivered their lines without an unnecessary amount of hesitancy. [3/5].

Buzz Kill by Annabel Wigoder - For most of the fifteen minutes, this two-hander focuses on the friendship between two PR flacks. However, just when you think the piece has been resolved on an upbeat note, the final twist injects a note of black comedy. [4/5]

A Muse of Fire by Wally Sewell - Sewell's "The Wrong Tree", was the undisputed highlight of Off Cut 2011. This year's effort maintains the same high standards, delivering a Shakespearean pastiche that reveals the 'real story' behind Hamlet's bloody ending. [5/5]

Boards by Charlie Platt - This comedy about young love in a summer resort might seem overly sentimental. However the acting was very strong. Rachel Packford was particularly convincing as the self-centred Abi. [4/5]

Nice Sally by Joseph Lidster - Like Buzz Kill, this comedy about a shop assistant (Wency Albiston) with a talent for singing, suddenly changes tone at the very end. However, the quality of the choreography and the versatility of the supporting cast gave it an added boost. [4/5]

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