Talking Theatre: Kevin Myers & Alicia Stark Discuss Newport Playgoers Presentation - Table 5
From February 12, Newport Playgoers Society will present the award-winning comedy/drama by playwright Kevin Myers, Table 5.
The first act of Table 5.won the Drama Association of Wales prize for the ‘Best Original Script of 2018’ when it was presented at the Dolman Studio in 2018 and this time the play returns to the main theatre with a brand-new second act.
The play follows Samantha & Tom’s big day. The food is delicious, the drinks are free-flowing, while friends and family gather to help them celebrate in style. But there’s nothing like a happy occasion to bring out the best and worst in people.
Writer Kevin Myers recently explained the idea behind Table 5 to Andy Howells on the Ents South Wales Audio Supplement podcast.
“You go through a phase where everyone seems to be getting married and depending on how well you know the people who are getting married you end up on various hierarchies of table,” says Kevin.
“ Occasionally, you end up on the random table, the kind of odd table where you put people you don’t know what to do with and that’s where the idea for the play came about. I think the best stories are where people are placed in extreme situations and weddings, of course are extreme situations.”
Kevin, who plays the role of hairdresser Andrew in Table 5, believes weddings are a rich source material for extreme situations which has helped with the comedic scenario’s for Table 5.
” It’s a great way to get lots of different people behave in a way that they wouldn’t normally behave in their everyday life. Not to mention the fact that there’s lots of alcohol involved!”
Directing Newport Playgoers in Table 5 is American-born Alicia Stark. Alicia has over 13 years directing experience on both professional and amateur shows and was particularly drawn to the productions humour.
“In America we enjoy the slapstick and like things to be a lot more obvious,” says Alicia, “I’m enjoying the subtle jokes so it’s nice to get those little moments of sarcasm, little references to pop culture that are absolutely hysterical or just the dynamic between the characters, which in some cases is innately British.”
Alicia believes that Table 5 will satisfy anyone who loves good theatre, as well as those who are maybe visiting for the first time!
“There are moments that are laugh out loud hysterical. If you’ve never been to see a show before you could really see the characters probably represent people that you know in your day to day life, so there’s probably a character on stage that’s a bit of an archetype for someone that you know and that’s where I think a lot of the comedy comes from.”
Similarly, Kevin also believes the appeal of Table 5 is grounded in the production’s realism.
“This is not an intellectual play at all,” says Kevin, “it just deals with real people and the way people are. Whatever the story is, as long as the people are believable, the playwrights done his job!”
To hear Kevin Myers and Alicia Stark discuss Table 5, listen to the Ents South Wales Audio supplement Theatre Special above.
Table 5 runs at Newport’s Dolman Theatre between February 12-16, 2019. For running times and ticket information visit dolmantheatre.co.uk