ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THEATRE WEEKLY
Short but enthralling, Encompass Productions are back from a two-year hiatus to beam some high-quality, no-budget new writing into our homes.
As the UK lockdown lingers on, Encompass productions have come out of hibernation to share their 15th – and first online – edition of their Bare Essentials new writing night. It has aptly been re-named Bare E-ssentials, to stress the change in format, but the ‘stripped-back’, no-budget concept remains the same. Two performances were live on the night with a company member serving as compere, and two pre-recorded and available after the live broadcast.
In the four pieces of writing selected from a reported 2000 submissions, all set props and costumes have been found in the homes of the performers and directors. The three monologues and one dualogue take place in small spaces, actor’s flats and a garage, but this mild sense of claustrophobia does not take away from the performances and the work, indeed the effect of every performer addressing directly to camera is arresting and holds the attention as we hold their gaze. In a theatre setting, this level of intimacy would be impossible…