Decade – Theatre503

Decade, Theatre503,  Until 23rd January 2010                                       

Event picture

When we think back over the noughties what is it that we will remember? Ten writers at Theatre 503 are here to help with a short 10 minute piece for each year which act as a series of coat hangers for us to drape our memories on.

Of course there are moments that we will never forget; the twin towers (here shown with breathtaking artistry as a piece of graffiti on the back wall) and the consequent war in Iraq for example. These things changed the world permanently and have made an indelible imprint on a nation’s psyche. But there are also some more gentle nudges that tease out further defining moments of this first decade of the 21st century; a subverted look at The Special Relationship, the still horror of a face being rebuilt whilst dogs growl off stage, a young woman being interrogated for loving her captor, the tragedy of a Tsunami and perhaps a more worldwide pandemic – Facebook.  It is these subtler pieces which really bring the whole ramshackle experience of this past decade together, connecting previously isolated incidences into a coherent line of history.

Unifying both the 503Five, five unproduced playwrights working with Theatre503 this year, and five leading writers the standard is for the most part impressively high.  You soon forget if this is a fledgling or established talent on show.  All ten shorts speak with a unique voice and whilst some are stronger than others, this variety creates a patchwork realisation of our lives over the last ten years, fully embodying the diversity of a nation.  Perhaps more than a single writer, 10 can give a true sense to the multi-cultural, multi-sexual, multi-racial, multi-religious state of our great nation in all its messy beautiful and sometimes dark complexity.  Following on from such works as This Much Is True, which love it or loath it certainly prompted serious political debate, Decade shows that Theatre503 is beginning 2010 in the same full throttle style that it ended 2009.

It’s only on until tomorrow which is a real shame.  If you get the chance this 10 minute, 10 piece quilt is a piece of art that is definitely worth the laborious trip down to the somewhat isolated but increasingly important Theatre503.

Writers: Amy Rosenthal, Beth Steel, Nimer Rashed, David Eldridge, Lou Ramsden, Fraser Grace, April de Angelis, Richard Marsh, Phil Porter, Rex Obano.