Tucked away in the heart of Camden, the Pleasance Theatre is a wonderful gem to uncover, especially at this time of year. As a variety show, Pint Sized’s run only consists of one night, meaning lots of friends, family and press were also present. This meant the atmosphere surrounding the performance even before it started was welcoming, and I certainly felt that as I entered the foyer.
The show itself consists of eight original pieces of writing with musical interludes in between. Minimal lighting is used, and the focus is definitely on the acting and writing itself. A few sound effects are used to add to the atmosphere of the piece, but I think even these could have been removed. Regardless, I was deeply involved in each and every piece.
What appealed to me was the variety of the pieces themselves. Tackling real life topics, the performances explore racial tension, suicidal tendencies, emotionally manipulative relationships, medical procedures gone wrong…and these are just to name a few. Every piece had different actors, too; I appreciated the Pleasance’s insistence on providing a diverse range of experiences.
Not only was it intense, but it was also really, really funny. The latter half of the show excels in this, as Portia and Wooden Overcoats steal the show. Lindsay Dukes’ endearing character addresses the modern problems of online dating, without sounding too cheesy. David K. Barnes’ writing is absolutely fantastic in its podcast format, and the comedic timing of Felix Trench and Beth Eyre had the audience in stitches. (You can get the podcast on iTunes). Banjo’s Dougie McMeekin also deserves a mention, as only having about eight lines and managing to reduce me to tears of laughter.
The musical duo Clark Alexander and Joseph Hardy also ensure the transitions between each piece are smooth and effortless. Hardy in particular displays his musical prowess, with kazoo, trumpet, and accordion in tow. Their energy brings a much-needed light-heartedness to some of the darker performances, and gives the audience a quick breather before the next piece hit.
Overall, Pint Sized is something that is worth taking part in. If you’d like to be involved in the future, they seem more than happy to collaborate, (providing their email on the programme, firstname.lastname@example.org). Definitely worth giving up your Monday night for.
Pint Sized played at The Pleasance Theatre until 10 May 2016. For more information and tickets, see The Pleasance Theatre website.