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Warwick Arts Centre review: Bite Size Festival

Bite Size Festival 2020, Warwick Arts Centre, Jan 18. Bite Size offered up two tasty morsels in the first of six sessions, as the day-long festival celebrating theatre in the Midlands returned to the Arts Centre.

Extracts from productions by companies Team and Quick Duck Theatre opened proceedings, and the energetic performances ensured things started with a smile. Produced by Midlands-based theatre company B Team, Slow Violence is a piece sure to send shivers down the spine of those who have had to endure the horrors of office work, as Harry Kingscott’s Peter struggles with his new job, and in particular, with the peculiar behaviour of his irrepressibly irritating co-worker Claire played by Laura Ryder. Commissioned at First Bite Festival in spring 2019, this fast-paced performance combines inventive staging with an engaging story exploring climate change and our attitudes to it. Full of clever details and humour, but carrying a sinister edge, this piece addresses a current social topic in an accessible way, with elements akin to those of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror TV series. Next in the session came Quick Duck Theatre’s Your Sincerely, written and performed by Will Jackson. Originally produced by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, this well-choreographed production really warmed the heart of the audience in a performance full of wit and charm. Gone is the fourth wall as Will lip-syncs and dances on stage in this delightfully observed comedy, the script derived from real-life correspondences, and presented with such cheeky joy by Will that it’s impossible not to smile. The two extracts from finished productions were a delightful taster of what is to come from Midlands theatre, with Slow Violence touring from autumn 2020, and Yours Sincerely touring throughout 2020 and 2021.

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