The title is more or less an accurate description of the contents and the format of each play is the same: a brief sentence to set the scene, then the dialogue takes over. The longest runs to three or four pages, the shortest to one sentence. A range of scenes is covered – from two women in a queue at a Surrey bank, to a farmer in Kent speaking on his mobile phone from a tractor, to a late night on Newcastle Quayside. The characters are diverse too – young and old, drunk and sober, flippant and serious.
However, it is the perfectly observed sharpness of speech that makes this book stand out. At first, you could believe that Taylor has merely been in the right place at the right time and recorded everything that he heard. Every ending is well judged and either rounds off the play with a ‘reveal’ or a cliff-hanger – always showing, never telling. Ideal for reading in short bursts or longer chunks – well worth a look.
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