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Schmuck Off (Manchester)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Venue: Taurus
Where: Manchester

It’s always very hard to review a night of short plays. Schmucks Theatre Company follow up their successful first production of The Carroll Myth with a collection of 6 mini productions, unfortunately on their second outing the promising company may have misstepped a little.

The night consists of many different genres from broad comedy to drama, period to futuristic meaning the night had more of a ‘let’s put on some plays’ feel than an organised night of theatre. The pieces range from excellent to not so good but the cast, many of whom impress enormously make up for some of the less than successful moments.

The stand out play of the night by far is Artist Unknown, a beautifully written one hander that sees Nicola Jeanne soar in her performance as a writer without inspiration. Writer Nathan Shreeve should explore the possibility of a full length play surrounding this character.

The Complex Man written by Matt Chase also shows promise and actor Wayne Allsop must be mentioned for his excellent performance. The Mourning Party is sadly a missed opportunity that didn’t know where to go and the less said about the disastrous Hasn’t Met The Right Man Yet the better, as this unfunny comedy is almost painful to sit through.

An uneven night maybe, but still enjoyable enough and shows that Schmucks have a great future on the Manchester Fringe Scene. For me though it was Shreeve’s writing that left me wanting more, I hope the company’s next production sees him writing a full length play because I’m sure it will be something special.

- Craig Hepworth


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