Tuesday 21st March 2017

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This week, sees Cast Iron 9 hit the stage of the DukeBox Theatre in Hove. It’s not actually the ninth incarnation of Cast Iron, it’s really about the fifteenth, but we tend not to number the Christmas and Halloween specials and the  various one-off events, like when we give over the night for six plays by one writer, which we’ve done a couple of times before.

On Friday and Saturday, however, it’s the usual format – six short plays by six playwrights. In the end, it may in fact be eight plays, but I’ll chat about that more in a minute. As you may already know, Cast Iron invites people from the Brighton and Hove area (although we can sometimes be a little loose about that) to write short plays for us, and then we get local directors and actors to produce them. We have a policy at CIT that, if needed, the artistic directors can ‘helicopter in’ to advise any play that feels it needs guidance. That hasn’t happened this time round, so our technical rehearsal will be the first time that I will have seen some of the plays.

And it’s a fun bunch of scripts. There’s ‘Tiger’, by Robert Gilbert, and directed by Yvette Saunders. It features Chelsea Newton Mountney and Matt Swan, and – well, that’s about as much as I can say without giving too much away. We also have ‘Emotions For Sale’ by Stella Macdonald, whose plot is pretty much indicated by the title. That play is directed by Amy Sutton, and features Joshua Crisp and Michael Bramley.

We also have ‘The Will Of The People’ by – hang on, I’ve got my notes here somewhere – anyway, by some up and coming writer, and featuring Matt Mulvay. It’s been somewhat disturbing how increasingly relevant this play has been to today’s news. ‘Meat’ is by Amy Sutton, and directed by Anthony Scott Hibbs. This sharp satire features Kerri Frost, Annie Packman, and Janice Jones.

Elsewhere, there’s ‘Goggles’ by Judy Upton, which features Carrie White, Julia Knight, and Miles Mlambo (with a guest appearance by Judey Bignell). Judey has also written ‘Love Machine’, which is directed by James Newton, and features Rich Foyster as a young man who is almost literally driven to distraction.

It looks to be a fun evening (incidentally, it’s part of the HoveGrown Festival), and with tickets at just £5, it’s a show that tends to sell out. Having said that, at the time of writing, there are still tickets available, via this link here.

On the day of performance itself, there’s still a chance for you to get your script on stage. At each Cast Iron, we ask people to submit a ‘rapid response’ play – perhaps five minutes, maybe less – that is written as gender blind and age blind, and for two actors. Ideally, it’ll be inspired by this week’s (that day’s?!?) events. It’s quite a tough thing to pull off without simply repeating the most ridiculous aspects of the news essentially verbatim. But when it works, it’s glorious. On one occasion, the ‘rapid response’ was a satire song – and the audience were genuinely singing along and cheering by the final verse. If you feel that you want to hit us up with a rapid response, you have until 5pm of the day of performance (both days) to email us on cast_iron@outlook.com ..

We’ve got a couple of other things to announce in the next couple of weeks, which we won’t mention just yet in the interest of tantalising marketing because we’re very tired, but they involve, in no particular order:

  • the fringe
  • no, the other fringe
  • actually now that you mention it, that fringe as well
  • your ears
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