Image courtesy of Bedlam Theatre.
Part of the concept of the annual Freshers’ Play is the constricting 10 day period in which each group must devise a play alongside strangers with whom they may or may not get on. The eight 10 minute plays were each based on a different title of a Friends episode which had been chosen at random. The creativity that stemmed from this well-loved sitcom was heart-warming for the audience.
Cringe-worthy jokes relating to classic Friends episode titles litter the entire production, notably in The One Which Could Have Been, a sequence loosely based on a bean café. Many crude references to pork, in conjunction to recent events involving the Prime Minister, and an overload of ‘posh-bashing’ were prevalent throughout.
The cast members were promoting laughter at their own expense, feeding the positive atmosphere in the auditorium.
The poignant subject matters touched on teased out a variety of emotions such as pain, compassion and love. Some performances successfully triggered a thrill of excitement and there were several instances of genuine comedy, namely in The One with the Fake Party when Kim Jong-un greets Kim Kardashian with an enthusiastic squeal of “KIM SQUARED!” This was only one of many topical yet potentially controversial scenes in this compilation of productions.
At points, parts of the play were comparable to that conceived in a moment of hyperactivity; desperately connecting whatever matched with the episode title they were given. In spite of this, the show was entertaining and moreish and the audience was left thinking that there might be some raw talent ready to develop and take on new roles in the future.