Wings2Fly Theatre have brought two one act plays to the stage, giving opportunity for thirty young actors aged 10 – 21, to participate in a holiday programme that results in a performance ready production. The selected plays were Jessica Bellamy’s “School of Sharks” and Alan Haehnal’s “Property Rites”. Both one act plays were dialogue-heavy dramas, giving more opportunity to young actors who enjoy straight plays, to explore this underrepresented genre in youth theatre.
The first play, “School of Sharks”, directed by co-owner Alicia Zorkovic, follows a group of young school students, all of whom have varying opinions on the sharks that lurk in the waters of their costal town. The ensemble of students aged 10 – 15 were all enthusiastic, delivering their dialogue with great expression. Gracie Manifold as Bea led the piece with great confidence and a clear speaking voice. Gracie worked particularly well with Marcus Murdoch (playing the nervous, Bert). Both young actors bounced off one another, with excellent comic timing. The remaining ensemble members all worked well with one another, to bring their individual and unique characters to life.
Some ensemble members need to remember to project, rather than shout, and to annunciate their words. There was brilliant pace between dialogue. However, more pauses within students’ lines would have allowed for greater impact in some crucial moments.
It was evident that all actors were confident in their dialogue and blocking. This is especially impressive considering there were only six rehearsals in this holiday program! Well done to all – a wonderful young cast.
After interval, the audience were treated to “Property Rites”, directed by Michelle Nightingale. This short play centres around a group of life like robot dolls that are made to adhere to the demands of their “owner”, Kyle McManus (played by Byron Jeffery). All 15 members gave a confident performance, resulting in a polished ensemble piece.
The soundtrack was captivating, with haunting music by Enya to enhance the mood of the production. The direction was slick, and the ensemble mastered the difficult skill of in-sync dialogue and movement.
Lily Williams as Figure 3 was consistently captivating, especially in the second half of the play. Lily demonstrated a vast array of emotions, giving a moving performance as the desperate machine that comes to life. Byron, as the owner of the machines, had great comic timing, delivering his dialogue with just the right amount of comedy and realism.
“Property Rites” was a gripping one act play that kept me on their edge of my seat. The entire cast were committed to delivering their best performance, and I look forward to seeing these young actors in future productions.