by Brendan Way

Back in June, Winchwrites, a student company formed by five creative writing students, staged Fill the Space, an evening of eight original monologues. Now they are back with a second project that features pieces that are a lot shorter but there’s much more of them. The title of this piece, One Hundred 100 Word Plays In An Hour, is self-explanatory – it’s an attempt to stage pithy skits, monologues, and dialogues under a time and word limit. Is it possible though? Winchwrites director and co-founder, Scott Freeman, thinks so. Splendid Fred asked him a few questions. His answers, of course, are no more than one hundred words each…

Our first question definitely can be summed up in less than one hundred words: why?

The small things in life can sometimes have the biggest impact. I remember thinking that thought back in May just when we were finishing up Fill The Space. I wanted our next project to be the polar opposite to long character monologues; 100 word plays seemed to be the answer. But it had to be a ‘show’, it had to entertain while challenging the status quo. Somewhere in my mad mind came an answer. I wrote it down on a piece of paper: ‘100 A Hundred Word Plays In An Hour’. So that’s what we’ve done.

Any had doubts it couldn’t be done?

I never had doubts. The writing team is really strong and the actors always bring their A game.

Do you think they can pull it off then? It sounds quite a challenge to learn so many short plays.

They can do it. I give them as much support as they need with line learning and use as many methods possible to push them as actors, so I get the best performances out of them.

Neat. Potentially this is a project that could run forever with both the lineup of the cast and plays changing when needs be. Could you picture this show still going on in five years’ time?

I do see it going further. It’s a really immersive, really unique experience being sat in the audience watching these plays. It can adapt to pretty much any space, the plays are extremely versatile, and I currently have fifteen unused 100 plays, because I had the delightful choice of picking my favourites. This is the kind of project that can just keep on growing and I intend to see it go that way.

Winchwrites’ One Hundred 100 Word Plays In An Hour is on at the Railway Barn in Winchester on Tuesday 27th November from 8-9PM. There will be a few tickets available on the door for only £4.