The Play With Speeches
by James Woolf
directed by Ursula Campbell and Katherine Reilly
produced by Olive and Stavros
Penny and Anthony were once an item, but things went pear shaped and they broke up. Now Penny has accepted a job directing Anthony’s play and they’re all set to hold auditions.
Anthony is wounded and Penny’s soon wondering whether working with her ex was her best idea. And then the actors arrive with enough emotional baggage to fill the dressing room. What could possibly go wrong?
This hilarious Off West End award-nominated comedy from Olive & Stavros returns to the Jack Studio with a fresh script and plenty of surprises following its sell-out performances in autumn 2022.
So, the speeches you’ll hear tonight are intended for use in that oddly artificial barometer of talent: the audition. They are all audition speeches. And it so happens that you’re going to see actors performing these speeches as audition pieces, as they’re here to audition for this play. Complicated, isn’t it?
Olive & Stavros: theatre for the damned
Olive & Stavros was formed in 2019 with the intention of producing reactive and relevant theatre that addresses important contemporary topics. Their aesthetic is dynamic theatre that uses the strength of the performers, sound, lighting and music. In short, theatre that is unfussy and unencumbered by sets and props. Olive and Stavros’ two previous productions Empty in Angel and Jo and Sam find themselves in Woking, together received 4 Offie nominations and 3 Standing Ovation nominations.
Press for this production
‘This incredibly unique play-within-a-play written by James Woolf is a perfect blend of clever, entertaining writing… delivering fast-paced, farcical fabulousness throughout… a brilliantly clever, well-layered storyline, performed by an entire cast of incredibly talented, comedic performers.’ ★★★★ The Reviews Hub
‘The surprisingly extensive cast of nine are all excellent… The Play With Speeches is a clever, multi-layered comedy that provides instant humour but also plenty to try and wrap your brain around on the journey home. All in all, it’s good, silly fun with a fantastic central performance. What’s not to love?’ Theatre Things UK
‘it’s a refreshing pleasure to see something which is just funny…This fresh, original show is exactly what you need’ ★★★★ Sardines
‘Fantastic fun with stellar performances.’ ★★★★ Fairy Powered Productions
‘I suspect those who don’t book quickly enough will miss the chance to lose themselves in this cleverly structured comedy now playing at the Jack Studio Theatre. This is a very funny play… If this was a thriller, it would be petrifying. Thankfully, this is a comedy and a deliciously funny one.’ British Theatre Guide
‘In short, it’s guaranteed to make you smile and laugh – with much of the play’s fun triggered by Matthew Parker whose performance as Anthony is brilliantly over the top… Julian Clary, eat your heart out. The Play with Speeches is a rather damn good play. Off west-end theatre at its best. Catch it if you can – and forget the world for 110 minutes.’ ★★★★ Close-up Culture
‘James Woolf’s meta-comedy is a hoot… Katherine Reilly’s assured direction keeps the audience on its toes… This is a very funny and clever play, with exceptional comedic performances’ ★★★★ Fairy Powered Productions
‘What fun we have on this casting from hell! Matthew Parker finds a sweet spot somewhere between Ricky Gervais and Eric Morecambe for his nightmarish but charming Anthony… an evening full of laughter illuminated by fine performances and a smart script.’ ★★★★ Broadway World
‘Writer James Woolf has given his cast some excellent lines, and his actors repay him with a series of snappy, sparkling performances. The Play with Speeches is excellent entertainment, a fun show from the ever-reliable Brockley Jack Studio, and a valuable tonic.’ London Pub Theatres
OFF WEST END NOMINATION FOR LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY – Matthew Parker.
The Play With Speeches
Written by James Woolf
Directed by Ursula Campbell and Katherine Reilly
Lighting Design by Nick Peel
Stage Manager Joshua Jewkes
Poster photography Bec O’Connor
Produced by Olive & Stavros
Matthew Parker, Katherine Reilly, Mark Parsons, Mayuresh Mishra, Michael Perlmutter, Anna Blackburn, Jumaane Brown, Camilia O’Grady, Ursula Campbell.