I’d never been to the Three Minute Theatre nestled into the downstairs of Affleck’s in Manchester’s Northern Quarter before. The quirky and intimate venue offers alt theatre and you should pay it a visit for an evening out with a difference.
I saw The Curse there this week and thoroughly enjoyed the simply staged, excellently written production directed by Gina Frost and written by Jane Bradley (who is both incredibly sweet and impossibly cool when you speak to her as well as being insanely talented. Although this is her first play she champions women writers as the director of For Book Sake). Bradley is the kind of woman I both want to be and be best friends with, part of her charm is that she doesn’t seem to realise just how exciting and excellent this play turns out to be when we speak briefly beforehand and she tells me that she’s nervous.
When I review theatre (or anything else for that matter), I usually talk a lot about the plot. In this instance I don’t really want to other than to say that the production deals with that time of the month for two teenagers, likable Lola (Sophie Derwan) and Wild Child Char (Amy Dee) and strange goings on in their town. The whole cast is the 2 women, Nathaniel Laydon and Joshua Wilkinson the casting of just the four of them reflects the origins of the play as a 10 minute short starring just Char and Lola.
There are some important and highly topical issues dealt with in The Curse including cat calling and there’s a strong theme of female friendship but it isn’t sickly sweet or rammed down the audience’s throats, it feels organic and fitting.
The effects showing passing of time and indicating different locations within the play are again simplistic but do the trick just right and the music clips in between scream female power.
After the show (which flew by, I was engrossed by the characters and the plot) there was a Panel Discussion about fascinating topics you might not normally be used to hearing spoken about so candidly- or at all.
The Curse sold out it’s opening night and will play 2 further consecutive dates at 3MT [update- these also sold out] but in my opinion needs to be picked up by more small theatres across the country. This might have been Jane Bradley’s first play but I really hope it isn’t her last.