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Best of the Village Pub Theatre Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

FOR the last couple of years, an expanding group of writers, actors and directors have set up shop in a pub function room in Leith to showcase their work at a series of lo-fi monthly events.

Every night last week, Edinburgh's original home of new writing has hosted a set of similar events presented by the team behind the Village Pub Theatre in a way that suggests VPT has quietly become a significant force on the theatre scene.

As a grand finale to the week, Saturday night saw script-in-hand presentations of eight works previously seen at the company's regular home alongside a series of quick-fire Twitter plays, with each one using no more than 160 letters.

There was an end-of-term feel to proceedings as VPT's founders, writer James Ley and director Caitlin Skinner, introduced the evening. It began with Morna Pearson's Of The Green Kind, a look at the effect an invading alien has on three very different young women. Short pieces by Ellie Stewart, Louise E Knowles and Sylvia Dow completed the first half, with new works by Catherine Grosvenor, Colin Bell and Sophie Good in the second.

As performed by seven actors directed by Skinner and Caro Donald, romance, ageing and family were explored comically and poignantly.

Best of all was Ley's own Alison and Paulo, a tender hotel-room liaison between a young Spanish man and an older female holiday-maker in search of love. All of the works on show displayed just how powerful short plays can be in an increasingly vital form of presentation.

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