Alex put to test as venue stages six plays in day puts Alex to the test

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A TELEVISION writer from Whitley Bay has had his work staged at Hollwood star Kevin Spacey’s theatre.

Alex Oates was among 31 actors, seven directors, seven producers and six writers selected from thousands of applicants to showcase the future of British theatre on one of London’s most historic stages, the Old Vic.

They were challenged to join forces to write, rehearse and perform six short plays in 24 hours.

The 24-year-old, a former Whitley Bay High School pupil, said: “The Old Vic, New Voices 24-hour plays are a test of endurance, creativity and teamwork.

“From nothing, plays are cast, written, rehearsed and performed in the space of one day.

“I will remember the day for ever as one of the best in my life before finally, after 40 hours of no sleep, going to bed.”

Using the set of the theatre’s current production of the John Millington Synge play The Playboy of the Western World, Alex came up with a 16-minute piece called Zombie Nation based around the interaction between four old school friends.

Directed by Ed Stambollouian and produced by Tom Harland, it took the audience through a spectrum of emotions from laughing out loud to holding back tears over tales of unrequited love and even included a rendition of a Backstreet Boys song on a ukulele.

Alex has previously written for the BBC3 EastEnders spin-off E20 and the magazines Metal Hammer and Classic Rock.