A completely virtual display of creative performance is enough to spark intrigue in itself. What the University Drama Society is presenting this week shall be a virtual show of innovation, adaptability, and engaging entertainment.
The Autumn Fringe Festival this year shall showcase a variety of theatre, short films, and a radio play. It is a year like none before. All the work displayed has been created under the umbrella of various lockdown restrictions, and an ever-changing tier system. What emerges are creative solutions to a challenging climate.
Tickets are free, one of the many perks to online forums, and can be found here. Content will be released everyday either to watch live or, another online perk, at your own convenience. If you have missed any, not to worry, the links will be published and available for one week on the UOMDS Facebook page and their website.
So, what shall we expect? The content ranges from an exploration of topics including race or climate change to comedic or playful experimentations.
The following are short summaries of the must-see performances.
Temptation – Monday 7th December.
A series of monologues that test the human capacity for sin. ‘Temptations’ revisits past voices of fiction and poetry through a modern lens. Characters of Faulkner, Milton, Pullman and Camus are lodged from their surroundings and dropped in the vibrant space of cameras and lighting. The performance makes us doubt the constancy of our morals, the godless basis of our judgements, and confront our ever-present dialogue with conscious.
Legacy – Tuesday 8th December
2020 has been a year like no other. As young people, we are burdened with a legacy shaped by decisions, made by people who won’t live to see the future we have to inherit. With this burden comes passion and a determination for change. Actors were given the theme of ‘legacy and inheritance’, and how this effects their lives. This piece is their response.
I love you, I love you, I love you – Wednesday 9th December.
Isolated and dealing with a recent tragedy in her love life, Merle attends virtual therapy sessions. She spills her feelings to her computer screen, revealing her darkest desires and deepest anxieties. This solo performance deals with much of what we have discovered about ourselves in lockdown, and new forms of interaction in a virtual world.
Breathe – Thursday 10th December.
An exploration of the relationship between chaos and calm in the form of filmed theatre. The audience will witness a concoction of image, sound and text, performed by three actors. How can simplicity in a time of chaos make such an impact on how we feel? An insight into both sides of the chaos/calm coin and people’s different perceptions whilst considering the role of ‘breath’.
Twilight: Los Angeles – Friday 11th December
Rodney King was mocked, beaten, and tasered by four LAPD officers in the dead of night in 1991. After all 4 officers were acquitted of charges of excessive force, LA erupted. Riots broke out after the verdict and continued for 6 days. Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is a play of monologues, based on the verbatim testimony of over 100 people close to the event. Each character provides a unique and nuanced perspective to the incredibly complicated and painful realities of race in America.
Note: This play will be performed over zoom 7.30pm Friday the 11th of December and will only be available in real time.
Rupture – Saturday 12th December
‘One of us is real, and I know that it isn’t me’
A short radio play exploring the burden of personal identity. Memories she wishes to erase. Thoughts she cannot un-think. A mind that no longer wants her. Mel feels shackled to her selfhood, willingly isolated within the confines of her bedroom, and her own internal thoughts. Mel questions how she will again find herself, her person, and whether this is the conclusion she desires at all.
Commiserations – Sunday 13th December.
Unable to obtain the virtual rights to ‘Celebration’ by Harold Pinter, the team have reworked their ideas into a new series of monologues. Taking inspiration from the original, the cast and creative team have devised a new set of characters in a new format over zoom. This showcase hopes to give a glimpse into multiple interpretations of the original play whilst bringing in the company’s own interests and skills.
The programme is bursting with creative energy one would be foolish to miss. Why would you, when you could tune in from the comfort of your own home?
Get tickets here: UMDS Autumn Fringe Festival @ University of Manchester Students’ Union