The Simple Process Of Alchemy by Chris Lambert
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Telling of the experiments and misadventures of two charlatan scientists, Fernando and Reynaldo in Renaissance Italy, the play provides an invigorating evening of surreal and silly entertainment. Bursting with clowning, caricature and competition, the actors play twenty-five parts between them they try to discover the ingredients of a love potion, the secret of alchemy and the true nature of the earth.

This is coarse acting, or what the author likes to call ‘hamper’ acting … everything you need to play a myriad of characters you have in one costume hamper!

The play relies on a ‘large’ acting style to allow the audience to easily differentiate between the many different characters that they play. Changes can take place behind one screen though the more screens you have the better as you can spread out the costumes more effectively and allow for a variety of different entrances and exits.

The key trick to the play is that the two actors playing the parts need to be seen as rivals and much of the playing is a form of competition, (ie who can be bigger than the other character and so on). This builds towards the climax at the end.

The photographs above show Jack Corcoran and Ralf Higgins during the
Exiled Theatre Company's provincial tour in the Spring of 2007.

   ... each of whom, through the quick-changing of costumes offstage or behind an
on-stage screen, play a number of different roles as follows :-
  Act 1 Act 2 Act 3
Fernando Antonio Ignatius Old Professor
    Agent I Queen Isabella
      Union 1
      Union 2
      Union 3
Reynaldo The Great Shazzaban Vagabond Old Sea Dog
  Frederico Christopher Marlowe Sailor 1
  Rosaline Agent I First Mate
      Sailor 2
      Sailor 3
      Sailor 4


Duration : 130 mins
Acts : 3
Principals : 2m
Sets : 1
One Act Absurd
A Little Box Of Oblivion
Two Act Comedies
Stand And Deliver
Stopped Interrupting
Tie Break
One Act Comedies
Exit Right, Running
The Village Hall
Time For Ben
Vanessa & The Vanguard

Home / Plays / Two Act / Absurd / The Simple Process Of Alchemy