THERE’S nothing funny about the battle of the sexes or in battling to keep fit for the fight, or so you might think. Well, a comedy double bill coming to the Carriageworks in Leeds dares to suggest otherwise.
Body Double presents a pairing of short plays written by two Yorkshire playwrights. Fit Piece, written by Helen Shay and directed by Jo McCarey-Egan, while Life Sentence follows it up, written by Michael Yates, and directed by Colin Lewisohn.
Fit Piece has already been shown at the Edinburgh Fringe, and proved an award winner at the Windsor Fringe, where judges said it was “impressively efficient” and like a “demonic Pygmalion”. A radio version won first prize in a competition run by the International Playwrights’ Forum and it also gained the Joyce Grenfell Award.
“Both Helen and I see the funny side of human relationships,” said Michael Yates. “She has written a lovely play about a women threatened by a man and I have written a play that reverses the roles. It seemed obvious that they should go together.”
In Shay’s offering, Louise – played by Sara Cornforth – is something of an ugly duckling who finds that the gym won’t fix everything. John Davison plays her antagonist Jake. He also takes the male role in Yate’s follow-up play, where his character faces a meat-cleaver wielding wife, Annie – played by Rachel Vernelle – who has had enough of his infidelities.
“Michael has written a gripping play with a twist ending,” Shay said. “As a male and female writer working together, we’ve been able to explore the battle of the sexes from different but complementary angles.”
Of the character Louise, in her own play, Shay added: “The penny drops as the pounds fall off under the strict eye of sinister Jake – a very personal trainer.”
Body Double arrives in Leeds this coming weekend, where it will be performed Upstairs At The Carriageworks on Fri 12, and Sat 13 September from 7.15pm. The venue is found at 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD. Tickets cost £7 or £5 concessions.