Hedonism, written by student George Bandy, centres around one night at a house party.
“When Hannah’s parents go away for the weekend, she knows it is finally her chance to throw her first party; unfortunately, she has no idea how to throw one, and so just invites everybody she knows, as well as the most popular people at college, and hopes everything will work out…Set in Hannah’s bedroom, Hedonism tells the story of what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ at the party, as this farcical comedy unfolds over the course of a single night. Archetypes from all walks of college life, from the jock, to the druggie, the nerd, to the new kid, all meet up in a whirlwhind of action, as our 14-strong cast explodes on to stage – this show is not to be missed!”
I enjoyed the large cast of this show, and felt the sizeable number of people on stage lent itself well to creating a ‘house party’ atmosphere in the strangest place ever to host a house party: The Amos Room in the Guild of Students. The sound design was also great at creating this atmosphere, the slightly muffled, bass-heavy music that ran throughout was extremely effective.
All actors gave excellent character performances, particularly Monisha Deveraj, who changed from the uptight, straight-laced, no-nonsense mother to the deaf, elderly next door neighbour (the same neighbour who was played by William Lewis in drag later on in the play – a brilliant turn). Another standout performance was by Patrick Hannawin, playing nerdy ‘Ben’, who had no concept of how he should act at a house party. Hannawin played this role excellently, showing a great capacity for character acting. The funniest instant for me was the character ‘Angus’ (Leah Garel) reading a spoken word piece. This was performed with great comic timing by Garel, and was an outstanding moment.
I did feel the first night nerves from the cast, however, but as the play got going they seemed to relax into the roles a bit more. There was also some confusion around the play’s ending when everything was going wrong at the party – with everyone on stage at once running about, it was difficult to know who or what to follow, but perhaps that was the point! Maybe the production team could have benefitted from some co-direction, but on the whole this was a commendable effort, and I am very glad to see Footnotes Comedy Society promoting original works, as whilst they might not be perfect, student theatre is the perfect springing board in which to refine and improve material.