It was a summer evening in Canary Wharf and I was surrounded by greenery, fairy lights, and a large wooden hut that was hosting Patch Play’s Greenhouse scratch night. The audience filtered in, sitting in a full circle around the interior of the build. With minimal lighting and sound effects, the atmosphere was solely reliant on the actors, so when the show began, it was an instant plunge into the first tale.
The first play, ‘Dead Mouse’, written by Maria Majewska and directed by Anastasia Bunce, opens with the actress (Ayesha Milner-Glover) running on stage in distress and instantly capturing our attention. She goes on to argue with her flatmate (Eliza Harris) about the rights of animals we deem as ‘below’ us and how the fragile life of a mouse has sparked her empathy. Through brilliant writing and inspired directing, we see the disparity between human lives and animal lives, and find ourselves questioning, why do we deem one more important than the other?
We seamlessly transition into the second play, ‘Blood on your Hands’, written by Grace Joy Howarth and directed by Anastasia Bunce. This devastatingly brilliant story highlights the impact the meat industry has on slaughterhouse workers, and how they have become the forgotten collateral damage. Fred Rawicz, Phillip Jones and Leyon Stolz-Hunter gives us an absolute masterclass in performance and bonds us to the characters we only get to know and experience for ten minutes.
The third play is ‘Solarpunk’, written by Alex Ansdell and directed by Sinéad Dunne Finnegan. The play explores the connection and disconnect we have with nature and architecture through the medium of a drunk couple post-party (performed by Sarah Chamberlain and Fred Rawicz). Interesting points are raised on the hypocrisy of some environmentalists and how few tend to make the connection between drugs and environmental ethics.
Finally, the evening closes with ‘Whalesong’, written by James Ireland and directed by Oli Savage. Through the audience participation of humming, we close our eyes and are transported to the sea world where we listen to the beautiful singing of Lysa-Marie Asiedu-Yeboa.
Patch Plays has provided a magical, atmospheric and incredibly insightful evening. It leaves you feeling everything, from joy to discomposure and gives you an insight into the taboo topic of meat and the environment.
Patch Plays will be performing their next show ‘Meat Cute’ at the Hen and Chickens Theatre from the 15th-17th August and at the Bread and Roses Theatre from 19th-23rd October.
Review: Bibi Lucille