A PROMENADE OF SHORTS – Red Phoenix Theatre – Holden Street – 4.5K

By Peter Maddern

After such a hiatus, and with such lingering uncertainty brought on by this pandemic thing, one could excuse any theatre company getting back to work to do so by way of tiny steps. Not so for Michael Eustace’s Red Phoenix with their A Promenade of Shorts; nine short plays across Holden Street’s three venues between which three audiences rotated.

With subject matter and tone as varied and unpredictable as the weather outside proved to be, the evening felt like a short film festival with the added benefit of that good old fashioned buzz that only live performance can provide. Added to this was an engaging atmosphere in the Holden Street Courtyard built up  by various ‘tour guides’.

Lots of highlights including Brand Eustice’s intimidating red neck (in Electric Roses), Kate van der Horst’s engaging theatre patron in a sea of foyer- dwelling nasties (in Intermission) and Tim Williams’ doing his modern day malapropisms as Nate (in Auto Incorrect). Murphy Guyer’s Loyalties provided perhaps the twist ending of the evening and Words that Matter the misfire of the event.

Not sure of the total count but it seems it was over 30 players who got to strut their stuff, from dominating their 15 minute proceedings to being tied up in a corner of the stage. Well done again to Eustace to provide such an outlet to so many to release their, no doubt, pent up performing impulses.

Bold and imaginative in conception and delivery, A Promenade of Shorts is a wonderful return to local theatre in this town.

Kryztoff Rating  4.5K

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