This August at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, multiple Fringe First-winning playwright Brian Parks and an accomplished cast present the world premiere of Shortlist, a fast-paced comedy about two enemy novelists battling for the ultimate literary prize. Produced by Newport-based Flying Bridge Theatre in association with Twilight Theatre Company (USA), Shortlist is a war-of-the-words plunge into the world of rivalry and writing.
Each year, authors worldwide eagerly anticipate shortlist announcements. With sharp comedy reminiscent of Blackadder, Shortlist follows two novelists, Higgins (played by Daniel Llewelyn-Williams) and Houghton (portrayed by Matthew Boston), as they intensely compete for the English language’s most coveted book award. For many years in a row, Higgins and Houghton have each made the prize’s shortlist, only to return to their writing desks from the ceremony empty-handed. This year, however, both are desperate to change their literary luck and finally trounce the other. The play follows the pair and their “Withnail”-esque exploits in pursuit of their longed-for goal.
Brian Parks, a regular at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is an internationally acclaimed playwright. Shortlist is directed by Fringe First winner Margarett Perry, who often collaborates with Parks. The play stars American actor Matthew Boston and Newport, South Wales native Daniel Llewelyn-Williams.
“Shortlist feels like a departure from the direction theatre has taken recently. With an abundance of issue-driven and ‘heavy’ work, our play shifts the focus back to quality writing in the vein of Monty Python and early Stoppard, featuring wordplay, lightness, and a contemporary feel thanks to Brian Parks’ writing and Margarett Perry’s direction” said Daniel Llewelyn-Williams.
As several literary prizes shut down in the UK, and American writers go on strike, Shortlist humorously pits two struggling authors against each other in a war of words. Both characters yearn for the life-changing victory of a literature prize win, but only one can emerge as the triumphant winner.
Shortlist runs for 60 minutes and will be performed as part of Edinburgh Fringe at Assembly George Square – The Crate from August 2 to 28 (except August 15) at 1.15pm.
For booking details call 0131 623 3030 or visit assemblyfestival.com