I am writing this on a Friday teatime when I should be debating whether or not to get ready for a stroll to a local boozer. This is not the kind of decision to be rushed into so I would take my time before having a spruce up for my trip out.
Although I miss the taste and ceremony of a well pulled pint of cask bitter from a hand engine giving it that thick, creamy head, it is the lack of banter and badinage that really leaves a hole in my early weekend, or Poet’s Day as we used to call Friday when I worked in a proper job. (Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday!)
Thanks to the wonderful people at Red Ladder Theatre Company the gap has been somewhat filled by Connected, an audio drama released in weekly parts, written by Chris O’Connor and Paul Fox. It stars the Leeds actor Paul Fox, and Leeds Rhinos captain and founder of Mantality, Stevie Ward. They play Danny and Paul, a couple of lads who meet up every Wednesday after work for a pint and exchange views about their respective footie teams, Leeds and Liverpool, each one hoping that the other’s side blows their lead in the respective tables. As well as footie the conversations cover women, music and gossip about their acquaintances as well as the liberal helping of philosophy, interspersed with total bollocks, without which no after work beer session would be complete.
As well as the standing orders, a new item gradually moves up the weekly agenda, that of Coronavirus. It only gets a passing mention at first but, as we move through the episodes, it takes on a greater significance. The action of the plays occurs a few weeks in arrears, obviously as they are in a pub, so it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
I have listened to the first few plays and found them to be very entertaining and thought-provoking. They last between six and ten minutes so there is no padding, just meaningful, entertaining dialogue. Exactly what you would expect from Red Ladder.
If you want to sit in the tap room and eavesdrop on Paul and Danny then pour yourself a drink of your choosing and follow the link
The plays were recorded over Zoom under the direction of Rod Dixon with the sound handled by Dom Smith and the music composed by Claire-Marie Seddon.
Mantality was launched in 2016 by Stevie Ward and aims to inspire normal, everyday blokes to become a more comprehensive version of themselves.
Check it out at http://mantalitymagazine.com
I hope that you enjoy the plays but whatever you do stay safe and keep healthy.