The Play With Speeches
by James Woolf
directed by Katherine Reilly
produced by Olive and Stavros
Penny and Anthony were once an item, but things went pear-shaped a year ago and they separated. Now Penny has been chosen to direct Anthony’s play and there’s a theatre full of actors waiting to audition. Tonight. As in, right now.
Penny is ill-prepared, Anthony is wounded and the actors arrive with enough emotional baggage to fill the dressing room. What could possibly go wrong?
This hilarious new comedy from Off West End award-nominated Olive & Stavros is playing at the Jack Studio for two weeks following a sell-out performance at the Hen & Chickens Theatre.
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
‘I suspect those who don’t book quickly enough will miss the chance to lose themselves in this cleverly structured comedy now playing at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre. This is a very funny play… Woolf’s great accomplishment is to transport the audience to a hall of mirrors where nothing is completely what it seems. 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… He dominates the play from start to finish… All rather magnificent. All rather watchable. 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 from Parker and King.’ ★★★★ 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. His reactions as the lines are spoken are priceless – meme material if ever there was such… an evening full of laughter illuminated by fine performances and a smart script.’ ★★★★ Broadway World
‘The play’s true strength is found in the interplay between Anthony and Penny, who deliver the standout performances and characterisations of the night. Their resentment and bitterness is comic gold, with King delivering an annoyed but quietly triumphant portrait, but Parker runs away with the night and most of the laughs… Is he funny? Undoubtedly.’ Always Time for Theatre
‘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 Katherine Reilly
Lighting technician Han Sayles
Marketing and promotions Bec O’Connor
Production Support Tomas Leslie
Social Media Siân Kayleigh
Rehearsal Photographer Steve Gregson
Production Photographer Lidia Crisafulli
Produced by Olive and Stavros
Chris Agha, Joseph Aylward, Anna Blackburn, Ursula Campbell, Julie Foy, Elliot Goodhill, Magnus Gordon, Tom Hodgson, Lewis Jenkins, Peter J-Jones, Gillian King, Izabelle Lee, Ingrid Marsh, Matthew Parker, Carmen Rodriguez, Harrison Trott, Molly Wheaton, David Whitney, Darcy Willison