Metro Arts (The Independents 2007)


By Nick Backstrom, Delene Butland, Sean Dennehy, Nigel Poulton, Jo Thomas

Amateur production

Assembled by a team of playwrights, producers, directors and performers, Micro-Trip is a series of seven short plays staged in 70 minutes.

Kale and Verona, a story of two flatmates, opened the evening with strong performances and giggle-worthy situation comedy. It was followed by the distinctly Brechtian It’s Hot, which got most of its laughs from the randomly rhyming dialogue, and the twist in its tail.

Next up was Grace which, although about a deeply disturbed woman struggling to find a way to live with enormous grief and confusion, still managed several laughs. The story unfolded over three episodes during the show, with Jo Thomas stealing the show as the title character with an effective use of silence and amusing turns of phrase like “deady-byes”.

Sean Dennehy pulled out a nicely subtle Irish accent for his turn in 10 Commandments, a hilarious scene in a Catholic confessional between a guilt-ridden congregant and the man on the other side of the screen. It was also a good use of different space in the theatre, as it was performed on the balcony.

Moving Fast gave the audience a sharp satire of politics from every side — party politics and activism — that was invigorating in its simplicity. Nigel Poulton was fabulous as the man at the centre of the maelstrom, managing to develop a character from depressed and unemployed to depraved and power mad, while all Delene Butland had to do was stand around looking shocked. Poulton gave a similarly wonderful in the next piece, In the Park, which was billed as 30-somethings talking about dating but was really much more interesting than that.

And then came the jewel of the show, A Trip down Brunswick, an hilarious, energetic romp through one man’s psychedelic experience, complete with space travel, affectionate cauliflowers and talking apes.

All in all, Micro-Trip was what it is supposed to be: great light entertainment. The first half had its flat moments, but overall, the show was the type to leave you smiling for days afterwards.

Designer: Kitty Maud

Sound: Brian Cavanagh

Played 11 – 27 July 2007

Duration : 70 minutes, no interval

— Sarah Jansen
(Performance seen: Fri 13th July 2007)