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In July 2014 STAB had its debut production at Hurstpierpoint Theatre. The evening presented two one-act plays: Two by Jim Cartwright and The Donahue Sisters by Geraldine Aron. Steve Thurley directed both plays. Here's what Steve said about the plays, their writers and why, as director, he picked them.


TWO

Jim Cartwright was born in 1958. Following the huge success of his first play, Road (1986), came another little gem  - Two (1989).  In his works Cartwright adopts a Brechtian 'distancing' technique to allow the audience to think and feel.  Brecht himself was clear - "I do not want my audience hanging up their brains as well as their coats in the cloakroom". In Two the principal concerns are: the individual within versus community; the nature and power of memory; oneself as one's own worst enemy.

The overriding feature of Cartwright's work, however, is his commitment to expressing the lives of the marginalised and disenfranchised through the poetry and playfulness of a heightened - and often invented - language. With its many exits and entrances branching from the central bar Two maintains the pub's naturalistic setting in the imagination of the audience with frequent interaction between actor and audience. The brilliant, consuming final scene does not disappoint.


Landlord                                       Andy Bairsto

Landlady                                       Lynda Brown

THE DONAHUE SISTERS

Geraldine Aron was born in 1951 in Galway, Ireland. One of her first plays, The Donahue Sisters, is set in the attic of the family home in Ireland. Awaiting the death of their father, three sisters talk about their unhappy lives long into the night. The time comes for a ritual re-enactment of an incident from their childhood. When the ritual is complete, things return to normal and the women seem to have found answers to their problems. What remains is the uneasy prospect of the past repeating itself.


The play was performed by the actors at Burgess Hill Theatre Club two years ago and formed such an impression upon all concerned that a repeat was inevitable. I particularly admire Aron's willingness to jump across the genres - starting with a plain naturalism we are introduced to, and become familiar with, the three sisters and their unhappy existences. And yet, right at the moment the play appears to be heading nowhere, we meet Dominic who is physicalised creepily by the three girls in a bizarre attempt to exorcise their guilt. The notes in the book tell us it is a challenge for actor and director - this is no understatement.


Annie                                            Emma Hudson

Rosie                                             Lynda Brown

Denise ("Dunya")                          Victoria Brewer