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Plenty of standout moments in ‘Famous’ plays

Most of us have been on a bad date or two, gruesome enough to make us feel like we’re on some reality prank show on television.

But when a loopy girl, claiming to be an animal whisperer, (played by actress Hannah Collins) takes out her stuffed pet guinea pig from her purse while at the dinner table, it took the definition of ‘bad date’ to new extremes.

The said offence took place in Helen Jardine’s play ‘Pecan Pie’ at the 11th Famous For Fifteen Minutes Playwriting Competition, held by Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society.

It was just one of the laugh-out-loud moments which unfolded during the night at the Daylesford Theatre. Six short plays are vying for the prized Golden Inkwell, including three romantic comedies, a historic drama, one abstract piece and a funny story about how two women get even after losing their jobs.

There were really great moments in all the pieces, though some weren’t exactly my cup of tea.

‘Banana’, by playwright Adam Gauntlett, had me puzzled for the first ten minutes as I struggled to figure out what was going on.

Four characters are on the stage and can each only communicate by saying one different word. The first character can only say ‘one’, the second can only say ‘two’, and so on.

Eventually we meet character four, played by actor Shawn Angiers, who decides to communicate using the word ‘Banana’ instead. He is eventually beaten for not following the status quo.

Confusing as it may seem, by the end I had managed to think of an alternate meaning behind the play.

It served to remind me how in life we are often forced to look, talk and act the way our society demands us to; and it is often only when we are alone that we can drop that mask and be our true selves.

Deep and profound moment over, thank you very much.

Another of my favourite pieces was the first play on the night, written by

The Royal Gazette’s own Owain Johnston Barnes.

It starts off with a lot of back and forth bickering between two very different women after they are laid off from their job.

Instead of just leaving the office building quietly, the girls decide to play a funny prank on their employers — using sardines and candle sticks.

What stood out about this piece is the character development. By the time the play finished I could relate to what both women were experiencing — the anger and disappointment of being laid off in these uncertain economic times.

A standout performance was delivered by young actress Makeda Yelle-Simmons in the play ‘It’s Not The End Of The World, Hannah’. The play tells a tale about a family deciding how to cope with the fallout from the Cuban Missile Crisis and deciding if they should stop their lives and hide in a bomb shelter or just live as normal.

The historical background details seemed to come at the audience rather quickly — and the tone was quite heavy.

But Miss Yelle-Simmons’ added a few moments of light humour to the role and did a great job in exploring the character’s teenage angst and exploration for self.

Catherine Hay’s funny play NACAD was also one of the standouts of the night.

Filled with really quirky details about an oddly matched couple who have to get assessed before they get married, it raises an important question about whether people might be too quick to jump in and out of marriages these days.

Laugh out loud moments come when it’s revealed that the female lead Dr DeSilva enjoys watching what can only be described as ‘pony porn’; while her fiance Calvin, played by Micah Jimenez, likes to dabble on both sides of the fence.

It ends on a rather sweet note as the characters reveal the true reasons why they are together.

Justine Mackey’s ‘50 Shades of Beige’ was the last play of the night and did a great job of finishing things off on a high note.

In it an older couple are trying to spice up their relationship after wife Sheila, played by Heather Conyers, falls victim to comparing her life to that of her friend Tori.

Famous for Fifteen Minutes continues tonight and Saturday night; with additional shows scheduled for June 19-22. Tickets, $25, are available online at www.bmds.bm.

Famous for Fifteen Minutes playwrights for 2013, from left Justine Foster, Adam Gauntlett, Catherine Hay, Helen Jardine, Owain Johnston Barnes and Liz Jones.

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Published June 14, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm)

Plenty of standout moments in ‘Famous’ plays

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