Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show ****


Pleasance Dome

10.30 (run ends 28th Aug, not 15th, 22nd)



The usual format: a selection of short plays differing widely in style and content, performed by a group of versatile actors, with the added bonus of coffee, croissant, and strawberry to set you up for the day.


I saw Menu 2, which contained five excellent plays and one which was good, but might have benefited from being placed earlier in the running order – it fell a bit flat, which might have been because the subject matter was too accurately observed to be really funny, or because it concerned a couple of really right-on, pc, as-green-as-they-could-be but extremely self-absorbed, insensitive and naïve probably-Guardian-readers in a Really Nice part of London, which didn’t resonate with the audience as strongly as the other plays.


The first five plays were all, in their own way, striking.  The problems of creating acceptable marching chants in the new, politically correct and gender-fluid army; questioning whether a safe, predictable existence is really what we think we want; the challenge for adults with children of their first Christmas without Mom, and the novel way one of the children found to compensate for that loss – all three were well-written, well-acted, and had the audience in stitches.


And then we had the two that really stood out for me – Stuck, which had a couple stuck in revolving door: such a simple idea and so superbly acted out; and Attack of the Killer Banana  Spider – arachnophobe though I am, [or perhaps because  I am], this one really resonated with me.  Again, the audience were engrossed and enthusiastic in their laughter and applause.


The cast of six, some at least of whom I recognise from previous years, were impressive, and the whole show an excellent way to start the day.  Two more menus and a couple of lunchtime offerings also look extremely tempting – if only there were more time!


Mary Woodward