Bread And Roses Theatre Company The Platform - Review

The Platform – A Page to Stage Workshop or New Writing by presented by the Bread and Roses Theatre Company is rapidly growing as one of the strongest short work platforms in London. They are consistent in both quantity and quality and with this being the fourth successful one it looks set to continue for a good while. 

As the opening play, Johnny Did Not Come Marching Home by Sharon M. Andrews fitted very nicely. It was serious, dramatic, but at a length that did not completely overshadow the tone of the evening. It was well performed, and there is certainly great potential in the situation and the story of those left behind at home during WWII. It did feel that there was a lot going on in the script which might work better as a longer work, rather than a complete short but even as it was it packed a proper emotional punch.

Following the drama of the first play Just Desserts by Will Howells is a monologue that on the surface is amusing. Joanna Greaves was very engaging as an ‘after’ rather than a ‘before’ – a woman who used to be so out of control with her weight that when she loses it her life and loves spins away from her. 

Skeleton by David Payne concluded the first half of the evening. A slightly longer work, it was programmed well at this point in the Platform. It was a very tight two-hander between a mother and a daughter over lunch. In some ways a strength of this piece was in the ellipses and what was left out, I do think however that further exploring the relationship in a longer work would be interesting – and also give more space for the turns, twists and turning points to build up. Directed by Kuba Drewa, the performances of Alexia Whybrow and Fern McCauley were strong emotionally and physically and were a highlight of the evening.

Coming back from interval Cold Calling by Suzette Coon brought together generations. The older Suzanne (Judith Eveson) and the young and very wired Laura (Katie Richmond). They clash over windows and a porch but in a world with no future, what else is there to do but apologise for what you have become and reach out to those who are in a position to help.

It’s always great to finish with a good laugh and Hamlet in Hiding by Rich Rubin was just that. There has been a bank heist but unfortunately the robbers have been encumbered with perhaps the most annoying getaway driver in Belfast. This was a tightly written piece that was consistent in its comedy and performance.

This was an evening that saw: unwanted flowers, desperate men, Shakespeare, forced feeding and a ring being pulled off a finger. It was varied in content but everything was performed, written and directed to a high standard. This was another strong Platform by the Bread and Roses Theatre Company, here’s to many more!
More details about this, previous and future Platforms can be found on the Bread and Roses Theatre Company website.