5 reasons to love short plays - by Neil LaBute

In February we're lucky enough to have two companies bringing evenings of short plays to the Citizens. Alan Bissett's double-bill runs next week and the week after we have a triple-bill from none other than celebrated playwright, screenwriter and film director, Neil LaBute.

Cast: Stuart Laing, Frances Grey and Patrick Driver

In preparation for Dialogue Productions bringing The Furies, Land of The Dead and Helter Skelter to the Citz, Neil told us 5 reasons why he believes "short is sweet:

1/ It’s a high performance challenge. I return to this form of dramatic writing in the same way climbers return to the most dangerous faces of certain mountains – because it looks so damn simple standing on the ground – and it’s terrifyingly tricky once you’re up there.

2/ You find yourself using a whole different set of muscles that you didn’t know you had, like a long distance runner who is asked to fill in for a sprinter at the last minute.
Each word begins to count enormously when you find yourself limited to a handful of pages.

3/ It’s terrifically precise work that is hugely satisfying when you get it right. You can go crazy trying, but hey, that’s half the fun of it.

4/ You cover a lot of ground. This trilogy goes from dark comedy to Greek tragedy, making even my hair stand on end (no easy thing for a man born with a curly mane).

5/ Shorts pack a condensed punch. These three plays work smashingly well with an audience and do the very thing that I always strive for as a writer: get people laughing, then make that laugh stick in their throats. If that doesn't work, immediately kick them in the stomach. Enjoy. Repeat."

Neil LaBute Triple Bill 16-20 February 2010