Award-winning one-act play heads a night of short stories

Angie Lily and Patric Howe rehearsing Montgomery
Angie Lily and Patric Howe rehearsing Montgomery
Katherine Ryan

REVIEW: Katherine Ryan at the Portsmouth Guildhall

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There’s a veritable treat in store for theatre fans at The Wedgewood Rooms.

Portsmouth playwright Roger Goldsmith is putting on four of his one-act plays, including the award-winning Birth.

He says: ‘It’s a great opportunity to put a play on there, as it’s unusual for anything other than music to be put on there. I want it to go well, so I hope we can do something there again in the future.

‘There are a lot of really good companies locally, and they’ve got such a following which I don’t have at the moment. Luckily Steve Pitt is helping me by directing, but I’m essentially an all-singing, all-dancing show – I have to do everything else when it comes to putting on a show.’

Three of the pieces appeared earlier this year as part of The Groundlings Theatre’s Tapas Festival, which saw 10 different performances taking place over the course of a single evening.

In Biding Time, 18-year-old Lizzie is in a hotel toilet at her mum’s wedding reception, contemplating what to say to welcome her mum’s new husband to the family because ’things have been going on between them’.

The Application is a comedy two-hander about a mortgage application and the necessary background checks for approval.

And in Montgomery, the eponymous man is a hen-pecked husband, a receptionist at a classy hotel. Lily is a classy hooker who uses the hotel for business. And the two get on very well...

The headline piece is Birth which won the Lost Theatre One-Act Festival in London earlier this year. While the other plays on the night are comedies, this drama follows the story of Cybil, the daughter of a vicar who is sexually assaulted on her way home from the library where she works. Things become more complicated when she discovers she’s pregnant.

He explains the inspiration for Birth: ‘I came across the story of a woman who was sexually assaulted and she had the child of her attacker and befriended him, and went to prison to visit him. It sounds unlikely, but it’s what happened.

‘I like to look at things that are challenging. In this particular case, in the play, it actually creates her life. It becomes a new thing that she discovers about herself.

‘I think it’s an interesting play and I’m quite proud to have written it and I’m proud it’s done so well. I hope it becomes a stepping stone for other things.’

BIRTH AND OTHER PLAYS

The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

December 14-15

wedgewood-rooms.co.uk