08 Jun 2023

‘Just A Game’ by Missing Parts Theatre Company

Post written by: Erin Walcon

Yesterday I got a sneak peek at rehearsals of an exciting piece of touring theatre in mid-development.

Emerging theatre company MIssing Parts Theatre are currently re-working their show Just A Game to extend its tour to a further range of secondary schools in Devon. Following on from strong critical reviews in its first tour to Year 9 audiences, the piece has been awarded a T3 ‘First Steps’ Touring Bursary from Doorstep Arts, enabling it to reach more year groups in schools across the county.

Just A Game follows two close friends, Alex and Benji, as they enter the world of a new video game, Gimmick 2. In the world of the game, they encounter social media influencer Elijah and his sidekick Kane, and discover that not all is at it first seems. The performance and accompanying workshop have been designed to address themes such as misogyny, anonymity online, gaming, toxis masculinity and friendship.

Despite these somewhat heavy themes in that list, the piece itself is quite wondefully unexpectedly funny – with lots of slapstick physical theatre, comedy, and quirky but lovable characters which make it accessible for Year 8-Year 11 audiences. It’s also intelligent and nuanced – respectful of the students’ intelligence. It opened up really useful dialogic conversations with students in Year 9 in its first tour and I’m excited to see what impact it has in this extended tour over the next couple of weeks.

T3 First Steps Touring Bursaries provide key support for exciting next generation theatre-makers who are ready to take the next leap toward professional touring. The seed funding programme has been running since 2019 and is a collaboration between Doorstep Arts and the University of Exeter Drama Department. Missing Parts is composed of second year Applied Drama students from the University of Exeter: Peri Baytan, Josh Ibbotson, Kate Spalding, Alice Rhodes and Bronwen Stratton-Thomas.