The Bunker Breaking Out festival is on which means the chance to see a selection of new work from up and theatre companies.
Saw a double bill last night of Libby's Eyes by Poke In the Eye Productions and Alex Woods' Nine Foot Nine. What were they like?
Amy Bethan Evans' play explores the world of Libby who is blind and trying to navigate new regulations governing benefits and support for the disabled - and also getting used to her new AI robot that is supposed to help her be more independent.
The play is audio described but the describer can't resist inserting her own commentary both about what is going on with Libby and about her self.
In breaking the fourth wall the audience is brought fully into the story challenging the perception of and behaviour towards disabled people.
While done with humour and wit, knowing that Amy Bethan Evans has drawn on some personal experiences makes you cringe in your seat - and feel quite angry.
Libby's Eyes is fast-paced, playful and entertaining while cleverly delivering a powerfully exposing an almost Kafka-esque system that doesn't allow for individuality.
NINE FOOT NINE
It jumps back and forth in time examining the life of a couple and their daughter and the impact 'sprouting' has on them physically, mentally and in their everyday lives.
There are some odd choices for the areas on which to focus - references to breaking penises getting titters from the audience - and as a result, it doesn't really get traction on the more interesting social and political angles.
What doesn't help is that the pace of every scene seems to build up to a heated argument very quickly.
The result is a shouty play which begins to numb the emotion and narrative of each scene and it ultimately becomes alienating.
And the dialogue, for all its earnestness, begins to feel laboured.
It was refreshing to see a deaf actor performing with a mix of sign language and speech (there are also surtitles) it's just a shame the play wasn't a better vehicle.
Didn't work for me.
Nine Foot Nine is playing 8.30pm, Mondays and Thursdays at The Bunker until July 7 and is 60 minutes long.