5, 6, 7, 8: A Steps Musical completes smash hit debut run with huge buzz

Steps musical 5, 6, 7, 8 has completed its six-night debut at Upstairs At The Gatehouse as part of the Camden Fringe – and how.

The 70-minute comedy, which weaved in a string of the quintet’s biggest hits as it told the story of four lovesick work colleagues, sold out five of its six performances and generated enormous social media buzz.

Demand for seats was so high in the second half of the week that the theatre was forced to implement a dedicated waiting list.

Read some of the reactions below:

Briefs 100: The greatest hits and their most recurrent stars

The 14th Briefs show, staged at Waterloo East Theatre on Friday 14th October, has sent the new writing night past a new milestone: over 100 short plays staged since starting in July 2013.

The nine new entries to the list went down a storm with the sold-out audience last week, and now – to mark the occasion – five regular Briefs faces relive their personal greatest hits in a quick video treat (below).

Over the course of 14 shows and 105 shorts, we’ve worked with a total of 55 different directors, 57 different writers and 136 different actors; with a healthy mix of new and returning faces giving us a family-like community that’s always welcome to new faces.

And these, incidentally, are our most recurrent artists:

Writers
=1. Shaun Kitchener (14)
=1. Roberta Morris (14)
3. Beth Crane (10)
4. Ryan J Brown (4)
=5. Joe Wright (3)
=5. James Robert-Moore (3)

Directors
1. Rob Ellis (9)
2. Sheila Atim (7)
=3. Anoushka Bonwick (6)
=3. Georgia Robson (6)
=3. Juanita Mora (6)

Actors
=1. Shaun Kitchener (12)
=1. Natalie Lester (12)
=3. Roberta Morris (11)
=3. Jamie-Rose Monk (11)
5. Francesca Meaby (10)
6. Katherine Edrupt (8)
=7. Christopher Cohen (7)
=7. Georgia Robson (7)
=9. Matthew Cosgrove (6)
=9. Sophie Mackenzie (6)
=9. Suzy Gill (6)
=9. Jonathan Cobb (6)
=13. Thomas Wingfield (5)
=13. Ryan J Brown (5)
=13. Jack Gogarty (5)
=13. Darrell Bailey (5)
=13. Charlotte Couture (5)
=18. Paul Heelis (4)
=18. Marc Gee-Finch (4)
=18. Jenny Wilford (4)
=18. James Robert-Moore (4)
=18. Edward McClean (4)

Don’t forget that eight of the finest Briefs plays can be yours to own as part of the Briefs: Volume One playtext, on Amazon now.

Full line-up for Briefs 100 confirmed

The 14th Briefs show sees us reaching a huge milestone: 100 short plays produced since starting in July 2013. And these will be the nine pieces nudging us over the line; all set to be performed at Waterloo East Theatre on Friday, October 14:

GRAB TICKETS FOR #BRIEFS100 HERE.

0800-DRINK by Juliana Lisk

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You’ve never seen a commercial like THIS before. Writer and performer Juliana Lisk takes centre stage in this brilliant monologue as a wine-friendly thirtysomething plugs Mount Valley Wine’s Drinkwise Retreat for Women.

BETWEEN THE SHEETS by Martha Geelan

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In her second relationship comedy for Briefs, Martha Geelan writes a break-up that boils down to possibly the most awkward incident of all time. Alex Dowding and Evelyn Lockley perform, while Martha herself directs.

THE HERMIT by Alice Etches

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Recently dumped Billie is going through a tough spot Her friend Laura, by the look of it, is not. The pair confront their own insecurities in this heartfelt and very, very funny comedy by Alice Etches, who performs alongside Sofia Greenacre and Benjamin Shogbolu, with direction from Georgia Robson.

SALLY DON’T SLEEP by Andrew Maddock

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Charlotte Couture and Alex Reynolds star in this extract from Andrew Maddock’s latest, in which two young women sit in a waiting room with lots to discuss. Ádám Burák directs.

SEEING BY GASLIGHT by Beth Crane

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Hannah’s found happiness with her perfect guy. But in true Beth Crane style, all is not as it seems as this bite-size scene takes an unexpected, dark turn. James Callas Ball directs Tim Jennings and Sheetal Kapoor.

THAT’S GREAT! by Shaun Kitchener

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Rory’s been pestering flatmate Harry for ages for relationship advice, and his latest dilemma is about to come to a head. But there’s something Harry’s not quite being honest about. Rob Ellis directs this farcical comedy, which stars Timothy George, writer Shaun Kitchener and Thomas Wingfield.

THUMBS OUT by Eliot J Fallows

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Thomas has a problem, and training psychologist Rachel will be damned if she doesn’t get to the bottom of it. Writer Eliot J Fallows leads a cast of Briefs newcomers, who include Olivia Davidson, Jonathan Keane and Olivia Thompson. Ant Cule directs.

WHITE LIGHT by Tom Powell

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14-year-old J has a lot on his mind in a powerful monologue that holds a mirror up to Britain in 2016. Tom Irvin performs, with direction from Gethin Alderman.

WITCHES BE BITCHES by Roberta Morris

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In this completely bonkers comedy, we’re in the Deep South of the USA where a pack of irredeemably unpleasant witches encounter a human girl. Sophie Mackenzie – who helmed West Avenue’s first ever play – returns to directing, with a cast comprised of Charlotte Christie, Sophie Greenham, Natalie Lester, Jamie-Rose Monk and writer Roberta Morris.

GRAB TICKETS FOR #BRIEFS100 HERE.

Presenting the line-up for Briefs 13

Briefs returns for its 13th show on Wednesday, July 6 with a fresh batch of 9 varied pieces on offer.

On the bill this time is Briefs’ first-ever musical, courtesy of Roberta Morris. The extract from her comedy Out! Out!, following a group of girls as they get ready to hit the town, brings together a killer cast and great music to create one of the most exciting (and ambitious!) pieces Briefs has ever hosted.

We also have two monologues, both by writers with proven form at Briefs. Global Extinction 2013 is the latest from Beth Crane and sees a woman pondering her existence after living her entire life waiting for doomsday, whilst Baby returns Joe Jones to the stage following his previous spoken-word hit Jamie last September.

BRIEFSSQUAREElsewhere, a heartfelt family drama will be staged by a real-life mother and daughter when Jessica Turner and Kate Cooper perform the former’s script Out To Lunch; whilst the notion of parenthood also takes the spotlight in an extract from Eggs, and intriguing mosaic play by Rachel Besser.

Along similar lines, pregnancy is the subject of discussion in Shaun Kitchener’s relationship dramedy Hairbrush, while one couple’s split takes them on an indescribable adventure through reincarnation in Toby Cohen’s brilliantly bonkers Bad Karma Break-Up.

Completing the bill are Alice Etches’ highly entertaining Telltables, about a woman struggling to hold her tongue whilst working in a restaurant, and Jonathan Skinner’s sharply funny Guru, about a man and woman attempting to travel the path to enlightenment.

Casting announcements are to follow in due course. In the meantime, tickets are on sale now from the Waterloo East Theatre, and the Facebook event can be found here.

Classic Briefs scripts published in new playtext

PAPERBACK003Over the course of 12 shows, Briefs has staged a huge 87 short plays in almost three years – and now eight are available to own in a paperback playtext.

Briefs: Volume One is out now on Amazon and features just a handful of the brilliant work that’s been showcased at the Rosemary Branch and Waterloo East Theatres since the new writing night first began on July 31, 2013.

The pieces included are:

Pick up your copy NOW from Amazon for just £6.99 (plus delivery) here.

Meet the cast of Briefs 12

Briefs 12 is set to hit Waterloo East Theatre on Wednesday, April 6, so it’s time to introduce the actors who’ll be bringing the eight short plays to life.

Tickets are on sale NOW from right here.

In a precisely alphabetical order, we have…

BAD RECEPTION by Shaun Kitchener

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Georgia Robson directs this farcical short set in the reception area of a troubled law firm; starring (L-R) Jonathan Cobb, Suzy Gill, Joe Jones, Shaun Kitchener and Sophie Mackenzie.

BEST MEN by Rob Ellis

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Rob Ellis directs his own new razor-sharp script about pre-wedding panic, uniting actors (L-R) Christopher Cohen and Alex Dowding.

FOR THE KIDS by Ryan J Brown

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Ryan’s darkly comic gem about stagey parents brings together an unbeatable squad of actors: (top row, L-R) Samuel Buttery, Shalisha James-Davis, Natalie Lester, (bottom row, L-R) Roberta Morris, Jamie-Rose Monk and Emma Tansley.

LICK by Ali Dunk

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Miztli Rose Neville performs a riveting monologue that gradually unravels towards an unexpected climax. Benjamin Rogers directs.

MOTHERLAND by Naomi Joseph

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Writer and performer Naomi plays a woman at a rugby game that means more to her than a simple sports fixture. Rachael Black directs.

POTATO SALAD by Martha Geelan

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Izzy Daws and Alex Piggins play a couple en route to a dinner with friends, but it’s safe to say they’re not quite thrilled about the evening ahead of them. Writer Martha also directs.

THE 27-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN by James Robert-Moore

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Charlotte Higgins and James Robert-Moore play two people who hit it off under unlikely circumstances in The 27-Year-Old Virgin, which Joe Allan directs.

THEM OTHER GUYS by Roberta Morris

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Roberta directs her own piece in which a couple and their respective lawyers thrash out an ugly divorce. The piece stars (L-R) Tom Bovington, Katherine Edrupt, Georgia Robson and Eliot Ruocco-Trenouth.

Briefs tickets are on sale here.

Briefs 12 line-up revealed

Four weeks ahead of the 12th night of Briefs, we can today unveil the eight short plays set to be performed.

The night brings together an eclectic mix of pieces, by both new and returning writers.

In Ali Dunk’s Lick, a woman appears to be on a run-of-the-mill date in a run-of-the-mill restaurant, but as things quickly unravel, there’s much more to this particular night out than expected.

Rob Ellis‘s Best Men sees titular characters Josh and Solomon anxiously greeting guests at their friend’s wedding; each growing increasingly aware that there’s one glaring obstacle stopping the ceremony from going ahead.

In The 27-Year-Old Virgin, writer James Robert-Moore finds a particularly unexpected location for a meet-cute, and in Roberta Morris‘s Them Other Guys, a pair of solicitors oversee a particularly nasty split.

Solicitors also creep up in Shaun Kitchener’s Bad Reception, where a pair of business partners (and former life partners) are watching their law firm circle the drain; while Ryan J Brown‘s latest comedy puts stagey parents under the spotlight.

Martha Geelan‘s Potato Salad finds a couple standing on a door-step ahead of a dinner party that they’re not particularly excited about and, finally, Naomi Joseph’s poignant Motherland takes us to a rugby match through the eyes of a spectator with quite the story to tell.

Briefs 12 plays on Wednesday, April 6 at Waterloo East Theatre.

Tickets cost £12 and will be on sale in due course.

Casting announcements to follow.

Briefs 11 brings more sold-out mayhem to Waterloo East

Briefs 11 was a big hit at Waterloo East Theatre last night as nine more short plays joined the now 79-strong canon of pieces to be performed at the scratch night.

What Would Andrew Lincoln Do?, When I Wake, Tiddlywinks, The Night Tella, Meal For One, Past Tense, Dead Lucy, Hell Is A Bingo Club and Flat Share People were performed perfectly by the company of 19 actors, with audience members rushing to share their enjoyment on Twitter:

Meet the cast of Briefs 11

Briefs 11 is rolling around on Wednesday, January 27, so it’s high time to introduce the faces of the actors who’ll be storming Waterloo East Theatre with the nine short plays on the line-up.

Tickets are on sale NOW from right here.

In no particular order, we have…

HELL IS A BINGO CLUB by Michael Staniforth

Hell Is A Bingo Club

Juanita Mora directs a cast of (l-r) Jonathan Cobb, Christopher Cohen, Katherine Edrupt and Thomas Wingfield in this punchy, funny scene about the kind of job interview nightmares are made of.

THE NIGHT TELLA by Sarah Milton

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Multi-talented Sarah Milton performs her own piece under the direction of Sara Joyce, taking inspiration from Hilaire Belloc’s Tarantella.

FLAT SHARE PEOPLE by Roberta Morris

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Writer Roberta Morris (far right) stars as a woman with a male flatmate (Jack Gogarty) who brings a familiar girl back from a night out (Natalie Lester, centre). Max Attard directs.

DEAD LUCY by Natasha Sutton Williams

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Dead Lucy, written and performed by Sutton Williams, is about what it says on the tin in the title. It’s very dark, and very funny. Dominic McHale directs.

PAST TENSE by Shaun Kitchener

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A woman has an uncomfortable issue to confront with her best friend, who’s about to get married. Georgia Robson and Sophie Mackenzie star, while Alex Di Cuffa directs.

TIDDLYWINKS by Sonali Bhattacharyya

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Two parents (Sheila Atim, left, and Alexandra D’Sa, centre) are called in for a meeting with their kids’ teacher (Francesca Meaby, right). Rob Ellis directs.

WHAT WOULD ANDREW LINCOLN DO? by James Robert-Moore

What Would Andrew Lincoln Do

A blind date takes an assortment of twists and turns in this sweet and funny comedy, starring Jake Mitchell and writer James Robert-Moore. Joe Allan directs.

WHEN I WAKE by Milly Rolle

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A woman ponders her existence over a casual Pot Noodle in Milly Rolle’s monologue, which she performs herself under the direction of Martha Geelan.

MEAL FOR ONE by Michael Staniforth

Meal For One

Last but not least, Jamie-Rose Monk plays an over-friendly cashier and James Callas Ball an unimpressed customer in Michael Staniforth’s comedy, which Roberta Morris directs.

Briefs tickets are on sale right here, right now.

Briefs 11 line-up revealed

It’s had a few months’ rest but Briefs roars back for its 11th edition on Wednesday, January 27.

The nine-strong line-up boasts five pieces from first-time Briefs contributors and four from returning writers, with three monologues, three two-handers and lots of all-round humour on the agenda.

Find out more about all of the pieces below, book tickets here and look out for casting announcements very soon. Browse the entire Briefs archive here.

Christmas Farce is a smash hit at Rosemary Branch Theatre

Christmas Farce has completed its short premiere stint at the Rosemary Branch Theatre and was a huge success, running to an average of 95% audience capacity across its run.

With a five-star review from LondonTheatre1 also under its belt, it rounds off a fantastic year for West Avenue – one which has also spawned double-bill Caravan and Pin, the biggest adventure yet for Positive and four more massive Briefs events.

Starring Natalie Lester, Christopher Cohen, Katherine Edrupt, Roberta Morris, Timothy George, Jack Gogarty, William Sebag-Montefiore and Jamie-Rose Monk, the Hannah Rowley-directed play had audiences in hysterics and earned a unanimously positive response on social media.

Here’s hoping it returns for new adventures in 2016.