Sunday, December 09, 2007

Vital Signs: New Works Festival (Series 2)

I'm generally a supporter of new works play festivals just because they get the writers writing, actors acting, directors directing, and everybody sort of just finding their way through the development of new works. It's also a great place to see what sort of topics are on everyone's minds. It pleases me to say that with Vital Signs, now in its twelfth year of production, I don't need to just blindly support a bunch of playwrights stumbling their way into greatness: there's already a lot of remarkable work on display here. Granted, much of the work still plays towards compressed, small ideas -- a lot of stand-ins for larger issues -- but what I saw featured some tender writing from Steve Yockey's Kiss and Tell, some political parallels about censorship in Catherine Allen's Class Behavior (beware, you may be doing it too!), the large way in which racism is still a part of our society, as shown by the twinned stories of Laura Eason's Lost in the Supermarket, the way in which we ultimately haunt ourselves in Sonya Sobieski and Jana Zielonka's one-act musical, Evict This, and the fantastic close to the evening, Jason Salmon's excellently written twist on the boy-meets-girl genre, a wistful and romantic Meeting that covers all the angles to love and all the exits away from it.

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