Formed in 2005, The Miniaturists is a showcase for, and a celebration of, the short play. Currently curated and produced by Declan Feenan and Will Bourdillon, it provides a platform for new work by both emerging and established playwrights. These are then given full productions rather than readings, and the standard is always remarkably high given the how tight rehearsal schedules usually are.
This is the 52nd edition of the writer-led event. The line-up was typically varied in terms of style and approach. Duncan Gates’ More Fish in the Sea kicked things off: a smart, funny riff on myth. The shortest of the night’s five pieces, it’s a play of one twist but it’s satisfyingly done, concise yet pleasantly unsettling – a play with sharp little teeth.
This was followed by Pippa Caddick’s Man in the Moon, an exploration of how debt, unemployment and parental expectation can impact on a family, which, while slightly rambling, contained some strong moments. The most dramatically rich piece was Jessica Sian’s Honeybear, a tender two-hander about a couple coming to terms with the fact that one of them is terminally ill. Featuring some of the strongest performances of the night, from Simon Manyonda in particular, it was a moving look at how one can live while dying.
Things shifted in tone completely for Brad Birch’s musical finale, God’s Monkey. While very silly, it underlined what the Miniaturists does best: providing a space in which writers can engage in playfulness and experimentation while exploring all the different forms a short play can take.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.