Live Table Read: The Last Straw by Jordan Willis

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Live Table Read: The Last Straw by Jordan Willis

Time & Location

15 Dec 2021, 20:00 – 22:00 GMT

Zoom

About the Event

The Last Straw by Jordan Willis

Pip arrives at the train station hungover after a big night out with his new workmate Tom. Pip and his partner Hayden just moved to London from Australia and know no one and so he’s putting in all his efforts to make this work. As he’s got a long ride ahead of him, Pip figures he’ll use his time to try to catch up with his best friend back home, Nikki, as their time difference has been a  nightmare. That is until he’s reminded that his mum and her new partner are visiting and want to get dinner tonight. Pip has a loving partner, beautiful friends and family, and a job in London—so why is he still so miserable all the time?

When his mum calls for a second time to make sure he’s safe, Pip tells us that his younger brother committed suicide a year ago. This opens Pip up to briefly discussing his own suicidal thoughts as well as questioning how and why depression has followed him throughout his life. He starts to explore his childhood, teenage years, and adulthood in an attempt to find the exact moment these feelings may have started or to see if there is a common theme interwoven in his stories.  Whatever it is, it’s encouraging him to consistently make bad decisions after bad decisions. Moving to London to save his relationship because he’s scared of being alone is a pretty good example.

The issue is though, in Pip’s retelling of his life to the audience, he clearly wants to ask for help but doesn’t know how. He keeps making light of everything, from his dad threatening homelessness on his kids if any of them ended up gay, his school peers buying and trading pornographic magnets, to when he was cheated on in high school and would repeatedly punch the brick wall of his house until his knuckles bled—all funny stories in Pip’s eyes. Not wanting to burden the audience with his own struggles of questioning who he is and how life has made that a  more difficult pursuit than it should be, Pip pushes the fun to the limits by staging karaoke,  drinking games, and lip-syncing performances. But what is he really hiding?

Pip’s been bagging the friends Tom brought along drinking last night for the entire journey and,  losing momentum in his fun persona, finally tells of what happened last night that made him so angry. Tom’s friends staged a drinking game in order to find out if Pip was gay or not, and when they had the answer from Pip’s own mouth, they still sat him down and questioned if he’s sure. He believed he was at a stage in his life where this childish patriarchal thinking was behind him, and yet here he is again, in a new country, facing the same limitations he’s always faced and strangers questioning his masculinity, or lack thereof, so as they can tell him who he is. Well, last night was just a cherry on the cake of this same questioning through his whole life, which tips Pip over the edge and he’s caught out in his own omission of the truth and is forced to reveal he cheated on Hayden.

He’s not proud, in fact, he wants to kill himself more than ever now, and he claims full responsibility for his choice to do something so stupid. But he does question patriarchy’s position in this as well as every story he’s told and highlights every single one of our complicity in its upkeep. Patriarchy doesn’t make men do bad things, that’s their own individual choice, but it is an explanation as to why they feel more inclined to choose the shit option over the one that might lead them to happiness. Pip’s brother was exhausted of these limitations and saw no other option but to escape life. Pip has to keep living it. Will things get better? Stay the same? Or just get worse? He has no idea and doesn’t expect anyone to know, but he wrote this play as a start and I guess that’s something.

CAST

Mum: Laura Alexander

Nikki: Oré Sanderson

Hayden: Mollie Semple

Pip: Marcos Descalzi 

Dad: Petri Stefanescu

The play refers to the topic of suicide which may be sensitive to some people.

Join our table read for brand new short plays to be one of the first people to hear brand new works!

Please note that this is just a table read and by no means a completed script, nor a full production. You will also be given an opportunity to provide feedback at the end of the session to support our writers.

All ticket holders of the live stream will also be able to access the on-demand run for one week once it is released.

Tickets

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  • Pay-what-you-can £2 Ticket

    £2

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    Events at The New Works Playhouse are sold on a pay-what-you-can basis. There are no differences in the accessibility of tickets. Just choose a price that fits your budget best and help support our performers and writers, and future projects with The New Works Playhouse.

    £2

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  • Pay-what-you-can £4 Ticket

    £4

    VAT included

    Events at The New Works Playhouse are sold on a pay-what-you-can basis. There are no differences in the accessibility of tickets. Just choose a price that fits your budget best and help support our performers and writers, and future projects with The New Works Playhouse.

    £4

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  • Pay-what-you-can £6 Ticket

    £6

    VAT included

    Events at The New Works Playhouse are sold on a pay-what-you-can basis. There are no differences in the accessibility of tickets. Just choose a price that fits your budget best and help support our performers and writers, and future projects with The New Works Playhouse.

    £6

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  • Pay-what-you-can £8 Ticket

    £8

    VAT included

    Events at The New Works Playhouse are sold on a pay-what-you-can basis. There are no differences in the accessibility of tickets. Just choose a price that fits your budget best and help support our performers and writers, and future projects with The New Works Playhouse.

    £8

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    £0

  • Pay-what-you-can £10 Ticket

    £10

    VAT included

    Events at The New Works Playhouse are sold on a pay-what-you-can basis. There are no differences in the accessibility of tickets. Just choose a price that fits your budget best and help support our performers and writers, and future projects with The New Works Playhouse.

    £10

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Total

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