Went to the First Draft April Showers festival this week at the Horse Pub near Waterloo. It's a great idea: aspiring playwrights get a chance to have their short plays performed by real actors in front of a paying audience.
The call for submissions elicited more than 350 responses which were whittled down to 16 for staged readings. Then, based on the audiences and creatives response, seven were chosen for the festival running in blocks of four and three in Rep as part of the festival.
And that's what I saw on Wednesday night, four of the chosen plays (with Caryll Churchill who also in the audience apparently):
Your Female Companion by Catie O'Keefe
This was part of a longer piece, which was never finished, examining gender identities. It was my least favourite of the four revolving around a group of woman each displaying various female stereotypes. One scoffed chocolate, one obsessed about make up and they all cooed about the one who had a baby for example.
Then one reveals a sexual fantasy in which she is tied up and dominated but was quickly ejected from the group. Throughout they were inexplicably homophobic.
It was nicely executed with each character walking on and putting on a pair of red shoes before sitting on one of a row of high stools but overall I'm not sure what the point was or what I was supposed to make of this exaggerated and unflattering view of women. Perhaps the wider piece would have explained.