24 Hour Plays

first_imgIt was always going to be interesting: six of Oxford’s finest young playwrights paired with six directors, randomly assigned to a group of actors and then given twenty-four hours to produce an original piece of theatre, all in the name of charity. The results were varied, both in content and quality. The majority clearly fell vitctim to a conflict between the grandiose ideas of the playwrights and the time constraints imposed by the exercise. The Gingerbread House in particular, while to be commended for its artistic vision, was dull and practically incomprehensible, and surprised everyone by abruptly finishing within ten minutes.The two most enjoyable plays, Alex Christofi’s The Reception and Cathy Thomas’ Who Needs Jesuits? kept it simple. The former centered around three slightly-inebriated bachelors slumped in a forgotten corner at a wedding reception, while Thomas’ delightfully irreverent production began as a stereotypical family breakfast that soon degenerated into bedlam. Both managed to be funny without seeming contrived and featured some excellent one-liners – but the highlight had to be an enthusiastic dance from Jack Farchy wearing nothing but a polka-dot mini dress. Also deserving special mention was Tom Campion’s touching play about the relationship between two cantankerous old men, roles which were played to perfection by Jonny Totman and Peter Clapp. And, as one would expect from any self-respecting playwright hailing from Wadham, there was of course a gratuitous and completely unnecessary reference to Nelson Mandela.While, conceptually, the idea of the 24 Hour Plays pulled all the right strings, in that it tested the creative skill of the playwrights and the initiative of the actors, the productions were, by and large, over-complex and over-ambitious, and as a result unpolished and unclear. In many of the plays the audience was left confused and frustrated, and dare I say it, wishing they had spent the last two hours watching re-runs of The OC. Ultimately, in a production with such unique time constraints as this, simplicity would have been preferable as opposed to trying to make artistic statements at the expense of coherence and clarity.Sarah DaviesDir. VariousKeble O’Reillylast_img read more

Italy’s FA asks FIFA for ‘changes’ to VAR in Serie A

first_imgRelatedPosts Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France Italy votes in referendum on downsizing parliament Live stream Premier League, La Liga, Serie A on Showmax Pro this weekend Italy’s football governing has asked FIFA’s rule-making body, the International Football Association Board, if it can make some changes to the Video Assistant Referee system. FIGC wants to introduce a system where Serie A teams can challenge referee’s decisions and ask for technology to intervene. The Italian top-flight introduced the VAR system in 2017/2018. But it has received criticism from Serie A managers who feel technology should take a second look at controversial decisions made by on-field referees. Napoli and Parma fumed over VAR last weekend for wrong calls made by the referee after they were not awarded penalty kicks. The FIGC believes managers should be allowed to challenge decisions, much like tennis players do with close line calls. The FIGC said it received requests from a number of Serie A clubs and they informally took up the matter with FIFA. It said it told FIFA they were ready to experiment with the use of challenges within a timeframe and process specified by IFAB. IFAB will hold its Annual General Meeting in Belfast on February 29 where subjects such as possible future developments on VAR use and concussion protocols will be discussed. FIGC president Gabriele Gravina has also advised Serie A’s head of referees Nicola Rizzoli on this matter. Rizzoli is to instruct referees to make more use of on-field reviews for controversial calls as the title race heats up in Italy. Inter Milan and Juventus are tied at the top of the standings on 54 points while Lazio are third, one point behind.Tags: FIFAItalyItaly FASerie AVARlast_img read more

Eddie Hearn announces plans to host fights in back garden

first_imgIt is reported Hearn wants to put on bouts taking place across four consecutive Saturdays in July and August, costing around £1million (about $1.2 million U.S.) to do so.Rewatch classic fights on DAZN”Financially this will be painful for us but after the momentum we have worked so hard to build over the past 10 years, I’m not going to let boxing just dribble back. While other guys go with arenas and empty studios, ours will look very different,” Hearn told Sportsmail, which reports the plan is to begin with the all-British fight between Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas and finish with Dillian Whyte’s WBC interim heavyweight title fight against Alexander Povetkin.”Just imagine it. It is summer, the house is all lit up, you can see Canary Wharf in the distance and fireworks are going off. Then over the hill walk Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin for a massive tear up on my lawn.”World championship boxing in my garden? Oh, go on then.”We cannot just bring boxing back with a dark studio. We have built our product on the razzmatazz, the sexiness and the drama. It has all been about building that moment for a fight, so we cannot afford to just bring people out like a game show.”We want to create a gladiatorial environment that will not only ensure compelling viewing but will also ensure fighters can perform at the highest level.”MORE: Hearn says Joshua has no problem with fighting Fury twice in 2021Hearn still has several complex issues to resolve, particularly around testing and isolation, but he remains in talks with the British Boxing Board of Control, Brentwood council and the WBC.”It is a huge mission. We are going to turn our headquarters here into an outdoor venue for live boxing, with a full canopy in the middle of the garden and the ring overlooking London,” he added. “We are building changing rooms for the fighters, setting up a space for a ring walk, and figuring out how we can do everything you need for this kind of production with as few people as possible.”We are in talks with a nearby hotel about taking control of it for each of the weeks. The way it will work is everyone involved — the fighters, their teams, the broadcasters — will go into the hotel on Tuesday and the fighter and their team will go to a testing facility at the hotel.”You will go in, get tested, be handed a room key and go straight to your room, where you will wait until you get the result of the test.”The tests are comprehensive and they take 24 hours, so the fighter will stay in their room until they get a call from our doctors, likely on the Wednesday, with their results.”If they are positive, they will leave the hotel immediately. If they are not, they are able to leave their room and take part in the obligations of fight week, all with social distancing. “Everyone involved in the show, from top to bottom, will have to go through that process before they are allowed on to our premises.”In terms of fight-week promotion, that is the other side of the challenge. How do you do the media around it? Obviously we cannot have dozens of journalists turning up and sitting shoulder to shoulder for a presser and a weigh-in like normal.”So we need to decide how it will go — it is likely that Zoom interviews and social media live streams with the fighters and journalists will be the new norm, and pumping out clips of the fighters around the clock, building up to the weigh-ins on the grounds on Fridays and the fights on Saturdays.” Eddie Hearn has revealed elaborate plans to host boxing events in his own back garden, which he promised would meet the criteria of “the razzmatazz, the sexiness and the drama.”The promoter wants to host shows at Matchroom’s 15-acre headquarters in Brentwood, Essex, England, as a way to tackle the issues faced by boxing during the coronavirus pandemic.last_img read more