Over the past week I have spent some time researching two-man one-act plays, or at least one-act plays with a small cast that could potentially be multi-rolled:
The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter
The King’s Speech by David Seidler
Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan
Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter is a two-man play that I would personally love to perform if not this time around then certainly some day. Many years ago I saw a production at the Bristol Old Vic studio theatre, and although I do not remember a great deal from the production, the memory of the emotions that coursed through me as I watched it are still strong. As for Seidler and Morgan’s plays, Andy and I have seen both the movies, but we do not believe they would be appropriate for us to perform. The challenge of editing the scripts down to the length of one act would be tremendous and neither of us felt up to the task. We want to utilise this module for the development of character within a play, so our focus needs to be on something already established that will give us that opportunity.
We spoke with our module leader after the meeting to see if he had any insight on two-man plays, and fortunately we were barking up the right tree! We spoke with another lecturer for nearly an hour about life, the universe and everything; his encouragement and enthusiasm for this project is extremely heartening. He mentioned two more plays of interest, both apparently two-man one-act plays too! Update to list:
The Zoo Story by Edward Albee
A Bench At The Edge by Luigi Jannuzzi
Hidden in This Picture by Aaron Sorkin
All three recommendations are unknown to me, however I am familiar with Sorkin’s work; The Social Network, A Few Good Men, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip are truly fantastic pieces of writing.
For the next meeting we need to have come up with a theatre company name and our mission statement. TM