Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings


 Emma Preece shows her disdain of Bob Graham's verbal gymnastics as she waits, more in hope than expectation, for an apology.

A Slice of Life

The Nonentities

The Rose Theatre, Kidderminster


Week three of The Nonentities short season of short plays continues, with some welcome comic relief, brought together under the title of A slice of Life.

This week the company ventured into dangerous territory, risking not one but two people on the stage at the same time. As theatres are left struggling to navigate the complex social distancing rules, it was a revolutionary move on their part, unless you are the likes of Wimbledon or Wembley or even your local pub of course. But that's another story.

This trio of very entertaining works are all penned by more contemporary writers, so do be prepared for some colourful language.

The First, All Apologies by Neil LaBute, featured Bob Graham and Emma Preece and was Directed by Patrick Bentley. A husband and wife are parked up in their car by the kerbside. The wife has been numbed to silence in the middle of an argument as the husband does everything in his power to explain away the severity of his recent actions. He does so by meandering aimlessly on the philosophy of words and his complex observations on the English language do nothing to impress her. It seems as all she is looking for is a simple apology. Bob Graham nicely depicted a man struggling to admit he was wrong. Emma Preece must have worked long and hard on creating the right temperament and mood for her character and was stoic in her role. Go see it and you will understand why.

Bob Graham, incidentally, is the company's chairman who has worked to keep The Nonentities, despite the name, an entity during the enforced dankness.


Katie Brown and Chris Kay find fires can have a cooling effect on passion in a cupboard

Second on the menu was Cupboard Love with Katie Brown and Chris Kay, and Directed by Bob Graham. This short scene could have been inspired by the recent goings on in the Government. Two employees of a Supermarket are about to have some illicit adult fun in a storeroom, when a fire alarm sounds and they get locked in. Worried about their predicament, and whilst the building possibly burns, the flame of passion quickly dies. They then enter into an even more dangerous scenario, that many couples find themselves in, that of actually having to talk to one another instead. Katie and Chis were splendid in the roles, passing from friendship to disdain at practically every personal revelation. However they seemed at times slightly overawed by the rules of staying some distance apart.


Alex Powell lives his life though a maze of timetables and trains in Anorak of Fire

Third and finally is Anorak Of Fire with Alex Powell , Directed by Stephen Downing. This very spirited play, written by Stephen Dinsdale, gives us an insight into a young Train spotter, Gus Gascoigne. Gus is a completely harmless and joyful character, oblivious to the real world and its distractions. He's romantically attached to nothing but the buzz in the tracks and the roar of a 127 diesel engine. Even a night of naked passion is thwarted at the potential of seeing one of his rarely seen locomotives. Alex Powell revels in the role, creating a very engaging, enthusiastic young man and the writing both pokes fun and dispels the myth of a train spotter all in one. Being the longest of the plays, Mr Powell handled the monologue extremely well and the solo spotlight proved he is a very capable young actor.

The Nonentities continue to create a fine workaround to the Covid restrictions with these 8 short plays staged so far, and with three more still come. Being only a short time away from the end of lockdown, but still with an uncertain future, a theatre visit is a welcome return to a slice of `normal’ life, so go take it.  This particular slice of life is on offer to 17-07-21.

Jeff Grant

The Nonentities

Home Reviews A-Z Reviews by affiliate