Review: One Arm, Southwark Playhouse

“The loss of his arm had apparently dulled his senses”

Tennessee Williams’ One Arm started life in the 1940s as a short story, was turned into a screenplay which remained unproduced in the 1960s and now finds itself adapted into a stage play by Moisés Kaufman, receiving its UK premiere directed by Josh Seymour at the Southwark Playhouse. Champion boxer and serving in the American navy, Ollie Olsen life is turned upside down when he loses his arm in a car accident and turning to prostitution, finds himself sucked into a world of increasing darkness and ending up on death row. From his cell, he reflects on his life and the strange contours of its journey.

Kaufman is perhaps best known for The Laramie Project (which Seymour directed in Leicester in 2012) and elements of that patchwork approach remain here, as this play has snippets from the screenplay quoted directly, including scene transitions and settings, upping the metatheatricality around Ollie’s story. But as it progresses, this device loses prominence amongst an increasing sense of Ollie’s fevered dreamworld taking over, allowing Seymour to bring out more of his own theatrical vision as with the incorporation of John Ross’ movement. Continue reading “Review: One Arm, Southwark Playhouse”

Finalists of 2010 Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year

Ariane Barnes (Rose Bruford School)
Douglas Carter (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts)
Jane Sullivan (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts)
Danielle Steers (SLP College)
Lewis Oatley (runner-up) (Arts Ed, London)
Daisy Maywood (Arts Ed, London)
Jane Horn (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School)
Joseph Claus (Royal Academy of Music)
Jamie Szynal (Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama)
Jennifer Harraghy (London School of Musical Theatre)
Joe Jameson (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School)
Alex Young (winner) (Royal Academy of Music)

Host: Hannah Waddingham
Judges: Edward Seckerson (Chair), Sally Ann Triplett, Martin Koch, David Grindrod, Maureen Lipman