Accidental Theatre Presents The Writers’ Room by Michael Shannon

Review by Carmel Shortall

The Writers’ Room is a very funny one-act play, bristling with one-liners and snarky put-downs.

Four dysfunctional writers gather to bicker and squabble about the work they’re not doing. Kirk’s only plotline is “the Matrix in space”; M T babbles endlessly but can’t write a monologue for her one-woman show; Ryan criticises everybody but has nothing to show himself and Beth started the group because she is struggling to finish her crime story.

Gradually they realise that they have become trapped in the plot of a mysterious script sitting on the table and Kirk has read enough Philip K. Dick and Asimov to know that “this doesn’t end well for any of us”.

With a script that is at once knowing and self-aware Michael Shannon has fun with the conventions of crime fiction – when the group realise that none of their mobile phones are working for various reasons they denounce it as a plot contrivance.

Unable to write their way out of their predicament, the inevitable happens.

The cast do justice to Michael Shannon’s witty script, delivering their lines with urgency and perfect timing although Dan Leith as Ryan has the best lines. Richard Lavery’s direction is tight harnessing the energy of the performances and keeping the momentum to the end.   

This the last chance to see The Writers’ Room as the play finishes its Camden Fringe run at RADA’s Gielgud Theatre, Malet Street,  tonight at 9.00pm, tickets are £7.00. 

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