Have you ever moved to a new house or workplace and gone past the place you left, soon after? It’s something like feeling your phone vibrate in your pocket, but finding it’s not there. These feelings struck me as I sat on the Piccadilly Line and passed straight through Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Covent Garden on a theatre night without getting off. I was heading to deepest darkest North London for a performance at Chickenshed. A short walk from Cockfosters station (I’ve heard that Londoners don’t snigger at the name, but I’m from Margate) is this gem of a theatre, a community in its own right. Chickenshed has an impressive history (link: https://www.chickenshed.org.uk/history) and truly deserves support, so hop on the train and go visit. I promise, the end of the journey on the Piccadilly line isn’t that bad!
Seven fresh pieces from seven fresh writers form monolog 2, intimately staged in Chickenshed’s erm… Shed. Jokes aside, it’s a great little venue for seeing something like this up close – my only nag about the place is that I didn’t really want to listen to the two men outside while they chatted over a cigarette, but being a literal shed there was nothing to be done. monolog 2 is a collection of, you guessed it, monologues. They vary in length from about 10 to 30 minutes, but are all nicely paced and fully formed individual ideas.
What makes them as good as they are is the fact that they all pick one very different idea or theme to play with in their short time. I was lucky enough to see all seven, but the performances for the rest of the run will only feature half of them each night. But you would see one of my favourites each night: My Exploding Universe, written and performed by Milly Rolle, and Even, Odd… Odd, Even written by Hannah Smith and performed by Sabina Bissett. The latter was like something straight out of Black Mirror and a pleasure to watch.
A few of parts of the evening would benefit from a little polish, but that doesn’t mean they are not enjoyable to watch. It’s important to give air to the issues and the voices on show at Chickenshed. They stage powerful performances with hundreds of young performers, and at the same time they give that community the chance to share their intimate stories with a select audience. I can’t tell you which is going to give you the better evening, so jump on the train and give this place a chance.
monolog 2 is comprised of:
- Even Odd… Odd, Even by Hannah Smith
- Face The Strange by Matthew Patenall
- The Hostel Angel by Barbara Bakhurst
- Stranger by Alesha Bhakoo
- We Are All In It Together by Peter Hastings
- Mirror Me by Wendy Sharer
- My Exploding Universe by Milly Rolle
Box Office: 020 8292 9222
Booking Link: https://www.chickenshed.org.uk/Event/monolog-2
Booking Until: 2 March 2019