Little Pieces of Gold – New Writing


Little Pieces of Gold

Southwark Playhouse

24th September 2017


“an important evening in London’s theatrical calendar … long may it reign …”


Established in 2010, Little Pieces of Gold’s new writing nights have staged the plays of almost 400 emerging, established and award winning writers, collaborated with as many directors and even more performers at leading London venues such as Southwark Playhouse, Park Theatre, Old Red Lion and Theatre 503. Thousands of writers have submitted their work through their open submission process and productions garner much industry interest, introduce writers to literary agents and facilitate long term creative collaborations.

Their latest showcase of eight short plays took place last Sunday at the Southwark Playhouse. Our reviewer was there and gives her thoughts on this important event.



The company of the latest Little Pieces of Gold  Photo:  @rebeccarayne

Suzette Coon has created an invaluable platform for up and coming writing talent, which is also a fantastic forum for emerging actors and directors. The latest event at the Southwark Playhouse was a testament to her hard work. The eight pieces played to a full house, and there was a definite buzz in the air.

The evening opened with Nicola Jones’ Nothing to Hide – a neat little piece of dystopian drama which addressed one of the pervasive themes in the 21st century, that of the omniscience of social media. Interestingly, this theme surfaced again in the second half, in Lewis Harlock’s The Interview. Of the two, this reviewer felt that Harlock’s piece was marginally more successful – credit here to Matthew Pearson for a terrific performance as the increasingly put-upon Dan – but each piece suffered slightly in comparison with other explorations of similar worlds. Both Kafka’s The Trial and the contemporary television series Black Mirror sprang to mind.

It was a treat to hear some extremely able comic writing throughout the evening. Jamie Rowlands’ I Do (But), Christine Robertson’s Stopcock and Mica Smith’s Frolleagues all packed some serious comedy punch, and the laughs came from very different places. Rowlands’ piece slightly lost its way after the dramatic reveal; it’s tricky to throw the transgender issue into a 25 minute play without it creating an unbalanced feeling, particularly after such an assured and quickfire opening (special mention to Luke Higgins for his work here, and to the utterly believable Amy Bowden as the bride).

Christine Robertson though, managed to perfectly sustain the comedy throughout Stopcock, whilst never compromising on the situation’s reality. A difficult balancing act, and one beautifully managed by all three performers. Frolleagues was a deft and extremely funny treatment of the warped world of the office and millennial anxiety rolled into one. Mica Smith’s writing was sharp and assured; this surely is a career to watch.

Child-free – Jodie Garnish’s topsy-turvy look at the social politics of motherhood – seemed rather one dimensional in this company. Once the initial inversion became apparent, there was nowhere for the piece to go, and it lacked a dramatic arc. To create a true sense of drama in such a short piece is a real skill, and Olivia Mace’s Dancing Shoes was a terrific piece of writing in this regard. Dealing with hefty subject matter – dementia, family skeletons, racial politics – with a truth and a lightness of touch, and imaginatively directed by Natasha Rickman, this was another of the evening’s highlights.

Dipo Baruwa-Etti’s The Prince was another piece that didn’t shy away from serious moral questions. It felt electric to be confronted with a Christian woman being asked to denounce her maker, and seemed right and bold as a subject to be addressed, when so much of the contemporary world is being riven along faith lines. Sabrina Richmond provided some of the evening’s most mesmerising moments as she performed her magic.

Little Pieces of Gold is an important evening in London’s theatrical calendar, and it was an absolute pleasure to be in the presence of so much worthwhile creative industry. Long may it reign.


Reviewed by Rebecca Crankshaw


The shows in full were:

I DO (BUT) by Jamie Rowlands, directed by Glyn Williams
A PRINCE by Dipo Baruwa Etti, directed by Gemma Aked-Priestly
FROLLEAGUES by Micah Smith, directed by Jaclyn Bradley
CHILDFREE by Jodie Garnish, directed by Brigitte Adela
STOPCOCK by Christine Robertson, directed by Rebekah Murrell
THE INTERVIEW by Lewis Harock, directed by Lou-Lou Mason
NOTHING TO HIDE by Nicola Jones, directed by Tamar Saphra
DANCING SHOES by Olivia Mace, directed by Natasha Rickman



was at Southwark Playhouse


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