Episode 3: Hymn by Amy Claire Shearer


Two actresses attend an audition with a twist. A play within a play, The First Act is an exploration of our everyday performances and the characters we choose to present. 

I first saw The First Act  by Annie Lowry Thomas at the monthly new writing night in Glasgow, Stage 2 Page. I had a play on the same night but was really taken by how funny Annie’s play was about two actresses attending an audition- with a twist. It was clever, layered and just really very funny. Like Fools On A Hill, it was a comedy about something and which had something to say – a fact that for me makes for the best type of comedy.

When piecing together the first ever show (then just 4 plays being recorded in one night) thankfully I remembered seeing Annie’s play and it felt like a no-brainer to include it. Organising the first show was a nervy thing because I didn’t know if the concept would work so it was good to pick a play that I was at least familiar with and had seen an audience take to. I just hoped the same would happen with the audience at the Beacon Arts Centre and as I thought, they did. Having Annie play join the line up of the first show afforded the night a nice balance of comedy and drama and gave the audience a smart comedy that they’d want to listen back to on the podcast to peel back the layers. Colleen Garrett and Karen Bartke deftly switched between the different guises needed for this script effortlessly.