Workshop Staging of a One Act Play by
In June 2006, inspired by the exceptionally high quality of the graduating year of actors from Arts Ed, Ben was invited to come and direct a staged reading of his second play, Nothing Personal.
Based on the structure of La Ronde, Nothing Personal sees nine characters in a series of inter-connected rendez-vous (A with B, B with C etc) until the last character appears with the first character again. Starting off seemingly about a bunch of sexual encounters, the play turns out to be largely about people not having sex, or misguidedly hoping that intimacy with someone else will help disguise the problems they have with themselves.
The skeleton staging of the play, with the actors all largely ‘off book’ – an almost unheard of achievement for a staged reading – met with a warm reception. It was also the first production for which Simon Perkin designed the sound, replacing Benet's long-standing designer: he has designed the sound for every one of Benet's shows since.
The standard of acting was unarguable and the piece hugely benefitted from having such a brilliant group of actors working on it on the threshold of, in several cases, already very successful careers.