A community cornerstone: Your guide to the oneACTS festival 2014 at the cornerHOUSE

Alice Burton, Sally Berlemont, Robert Stemmons and Lorna Spencer rehearse. Photo: Jon Constant

Alice Burton, Sally Berlemont, Robert Stemmons and Lorna Spencer rehearse. Photo: Jon Constant

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Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter - Surbiton + Chessington - 020 8722 6313

Where else can you see five plays in one night for a bargain price?

The cornerHOUSE community arts centre in Surbiton is the place to be in May as its much-loved original drama festival, oneACTS, rolls into its tenth year.

Nine more never-before-seen plays will hit the stage, featuring stalkers, a mischievous mouse and more.

The fast-paced pieces squeeze the action into performances of between 15 and 30 minutes.

Surrey Comet:

Tina Mastrocola and Bill Pretty rehearse. Photo: Jon Constant

Festival chairman Jon Constant says: “We have a fantastic mix of plays. It’s amazing what people will come up with.

“We get some quite serious plays, we get some funny plays, and plenty in between.

“We always try to choose a balance.”

Organisers received about 50 original scripts this year, he says.

Journalist Josephine McDermott, who wrote The Temp, says the play was based on time she spent working as a receptionist during her university holidays.

She adds: “I went to work at one particular media company that stuck in my head. There were these particularly overbearing receptionists.”

Having wondered what would happen if they came unstuck, McDermott says the play is a bit of “wishful thinking”.

Madeleine Mason, author of “quirky” play Stalkers – where two stalkers find themselves apparently in competition – acted in the festival some years ago.

She adds: “I think it’s still getting the quality of people coming and being involved, possibly even more so.”

oneACTS 2014; cornerHOUSE Theatre, Douglas Road, Surbiton; May 12-17, 7.45pm; £8 or £6 concessions; visit thecornerhouse.org.

--- What’s on: your guide

Monday, May 12, Wednesday 14, Friday 16:

  • Aunt Julie's Funeral by Tim Harrison
  • Morning by Jane James
  • Stalkers by Madeleine Mason
  • When You're A Boy by Imelda Topping
  • Sir Gwaine Colombelles by Tim Harrison

Tuesday, May 13, Thursday 15, Saturday 17:

  • The Temp by Josephine McDermott
  • Changes by Ian Davies
  • The Visit by Graham Large
  • Windmills by Julie Birkett

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