Cast AsideCast Aside was a delight. Described as a ‘satirical antidote to everything waffling, affected or ostentatious about the stage’, it provided a much needed escape from the intensity of just too many thesps in one city. There’s only so much ‘dark’ and ‘deep’ (why do directors love these words?) theatre that you can deal with, so Cast Aside, with its light-hearted but incredibly quick and witty script, was a perfect alternative. Written by New Theatre’s Big Cheese, President Charlie Brafman, we were introduced to a scary group of characters producing and starring in a new cross-gendered production of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ (or ‘The M of V’ as its tortured director, Willie, preferred to call it); a scary group because, worryingly, we knew them so well.

There was the diva, the terrifyingly camp assistant, the lad with a tendency to lie to win a lady, the cutesy girl (with a hidden psychotic edge) and a grimy Welshman who entertained with tales of why he no longer eats leeks and other gems. These recognisable folk were intermingled to create a nightmare bunch that couldn’t fail to amuse. Three Weeks, the daily Fringe review paper, described the cast as ‘a dynamic and talented group of actors…with perfect comic timing’. It’s certainly unlikely that this lot will find themselves cast aside in the future.

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