From the 24 hour radio collaboration between Mojo Edinburgh and Three Pound Coin Theatre comes So… what happened last night?, an original piece written by artistic directors Ben Fleming and Emily Oulton, and produced by Alice Foley and Regan Sneddon. Introduced by the two writers themselves, the piece is described as a collection of “found footage of before and after a night out”. In contrast to other pieces being performed in the show, the writers mention the joy and fun of this piece, setting it up to be a fabulous occasion to live vicariously through others on a much needed night out.
Over the course of a night out – from pres to the aftermath – the story follows the debut of young drag queen Ned (Tiger Mitchell) and Dani (Eilidh Northridge), a girl on the brink of self-discovery. Both these portrayals are wonderfully real and are accompanied by a host of other vibrant characters – all bases are covered from supportive friends and lovers to chaotic exes and bitchy bar owners. The convincing characterisation that the cast manages to bring is impressive, especially considering the entire play was coordinated over Zoom before being recorded and pieced together.
The piece feels entirely relatable, opening with a drunk voicemail confessing one character’s love to another with the bustling sounds of a pub in the background, enough to hearken any listener back to many a night out.
For those who may be wary of radio drama, there is no danger here of nodding off while listening to the droning tones of The Archers. The piece is massively creative, using mediums from voice notes to audio from Instagram lives to phone calls. While these have all essentially been the top means of communication for everyone in the last year, they are still refreshing and engaging and mix very well with the few scenes of face to face dialogue. A wonderful soundscape accompanies most scenes, with phones beeping and footsteps crunching to indicate exactly what is going on and where. A particularly effective moment is one inside the club, muffling the familiar cheesy club hits to show a move from indoors to outdoors.
The piece is truly an hour of fun, mayhem and excitement, conveying feelings of support, love and hilarity through an engaging and gripping script. The dialogue is realistic and really feels like you are chatting with friends, grappling with all the usual antics of a night out while overhearing a couple of private conversations. It is overall a heartwarming piece, topped off with a voicemail from Jeff (Jonathan McLean) to his old retired coworker, pointing out how he has realised the LGBTQ+ youth of today see his gay club not as a secret place of refuge as he used to, but as a place of pride and celebration and somewhere to be loud and proud. This message of self love and acceptance ties in beautifully with the plights of the characters, who are helped both by those around them and their own selves, managing to embrace their identities.
Check out the Crowdfunder here to help Three Pound Coin Theatre raise funds for LGBT Youth Scotland and LGBT Health and Wellbeing.
image: Three Pound Coin Theatre