Pentabus' 'Seen': 8 wonderfully human explorations into life, death, and love

Pentabus theatre showcases the amazing writing and acting skills of it's up-and-coming young writers and gripping cast in eight short yet engrossing plays with hard hitting and relatable themes.

Pentabus' 'Seen': 8 wonderfully human explorations into life, death, and love

On the 15th of June 2024, as part of Ludlow Fringe Festival, I had the pleasure of watching Pentabus' Young Writers and actor's performance of ‘Seen’ (8 short plays) and was blown away. Each play was an honest and relatable display of guilt, grief, trauma, and healing that ventured into the minds of it's characters allowing the audience to sympathise with their feelings and struggles. The characters were so compelling and realistic; they felt like people you could approach on the street, listen to, and feel deep connections with. This is thanks to the incredible writing and acting, both of which had a great attention to detail in the dialog, body language and tone. 

I am always looking and listening out for lighting and sound design, and I was not disappointed. With just a few coloured lights and well-chosen sound effects, we are drawn into each scene and a perfect atmosphere is created. I am so happy that Jen Roxburgh (the lighting designer) and Florence Hand (the sound designer) could create such an engaging and fitting feeling for each scene. 

The costumes were well designed too. The majority of them were just normal everyday clothing items but they fit the characters and their situations and helped with the immersion. The more unique costumes, as seen in ‘Cheddar Man’ and ‘Alien’, were also very good as they could both be funny and tell us a lot about the characters. 

The set was also very interesting to me. It was comprised of just a few lights, a stack of crates, and the occasional scene specific prop but was used masterfully. Despite having just a few seconds of darkness to change between plays, they managed to create completely different feelings and scenes with this seemingly limited setup just by shifting things around and adding a blanket or pillows. 

Finally, I would like to draw attention to the humour and tone of each play. There was a perfect balance between jokes and seriousness that I think can be undervalued. The humour –which very much hit the mark judging by the loud laughter of the audience- did not devalue the serious themes but acted as a vessel to empower them which can be missed or disregarded in some productions. 

I am amazed by the work of everyone involved (whose names are listed on Pentabus’ website: Seen | Pentabus) and very much hope that I see more from them in the future. I highly recommend that anyone who is interested in theatre, especially local productions, follow the work of Pentabus. I look forward to more of this incredible work and think you would be missing out not to look into it. 

1 Comments

  • Dayna Jeynes

    On 21 June 2024, 12:48 Dayna Jeynes commented:

    Really enjoyed reading your perspective!

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