At the beginning of December the Royal Court created a series of ‘microplays’ in conjunction with The Guardian. Some were a bit hit or miss, but one really stood out as being great example of what you could achieve in just five minutes.
The piece was entitled Groove Is In The Heart. I loved that it evoked so many emotions through the use of very little language and instead played on the audiences associations with music and how one song can create such a vivid memory of someone. To me the story was straightforward (he is about to go to her funeral) but the comments section offered up a couple of other explanations I hadn’t thought of. It just goes to show how we can each interpret something different from a film/play, even if it is only five minutes long.
I have been involved in and watched a lot of ‘short play’ evenings, however when a play on stage is only five minutes long it often doesn’t quite involve the audience enough for them to really care about it. However when a film is just five minutes in length it can be enough for an audience to become totally engrossed in a story. It makes me wonder if there would be any way for a very short play to have the same impact as a short film like the one above? Music is often quite a difficult thing to get ‘right’ on stage and can come across as intrusive, so words become the main medium playwrights can use to tell a story – which can mean that not much is left open to interpretation. I’d be very interested to know if anyone has seen a very short play that they’ve really enjoyed, and if so what made it work particularly well as a five minute piece onstage – comments as always very much encouraged and appreciated! I’d love to have a discussion about this and hear opinions 🙂