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Theatre In The Rough Festival 2011

The Unity Theatre
1st & 2nd April

Various Authors
Director: Ursula Carey-Jenkins
Producer: Theatre In The Rough
Cast Includes: Zoe Marras, Lindsey Goulborne, Rose Hardy and Amber- Page Moss.

Running Time: 2 hours 15 mins




Theatre In The Rough Festival promotional image

Link: Unity Theatre Liverpool official website

Theatre In The Rough is a festival of new writing for the stage by young people aged between 13-25 from across Merseyside. The festival has been going since around 2006, and this year’s festival is based around the theme of Sefton’s hidden history.

The performance consisted of six individual short plays ranging from 15-20 minutes long. Each play focuses on a different theme but all contain some connection to the area of Sefton whether it’s where the story is set or where the characters originated from. This connecting thread was sometimes clear but more often we are left slightly confused trying to make the connection. The confusion stems from a lack of either a brief explanation or else the use of a narrator to introduce each play and set the scene. This would appear to be due more to the direction than to the playwrights themselves, since  what was lacking was for the individual stories to be pulled together to make one coherent piece. Despite this, the plays were interesting, engaging and very promising.

The cast consisting of nine young women brought the work of the playwrights to life with minimal props, an almost bare stage and no costumes. This stripped back approach was possibly taken a little too far as more film footage or a few more sound effects would have added to the performance and helped the audience find their bearings within the stories. The cast themselves portrayed their characters with confidence and aside from a few fumbled lines and a little accent confusion they captured my attention throughout.

The final play of the evening ‘Particular Friends of Patterson’ revolves around two women who are determined to capture the attentions of Cecil Patterson, a pilot and a pioneer of early aviation. Early aviators seemed to attract a lot of attention and admirers as their daring feats were followed avidly by the world. This seemingly glamorous world of daredevils is the focus of Hayley Gregg’s laugh out loud play which is the most professional and polished of the six: she may well be one to watch out for.

The Theatre In The Rough have clearly done their research as the program contains fascinating snippets of information about Sefton and its dangerous, murky and exciting history. The Theatre In The Rough festival 2011 is interesting, funny and imaginative and a wonderful tool to encourage young Liverpudlians to be inspired by their own city and its rich history.


Link: Unity Theatre Liverpool official website



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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