Tonight I went to see five plays which were part of Manhattan Rep Theater’s Spring One Act Competition for new playwrights. My friend Paul (pictured middle) starred in one – Black Friday by Matthew Klein – about two brothers who meet to discuss what to buy their grandfather for Christmas. Conversation soon turns from gift vouchers to grief as they reveal how cruel he has been throughout their lives – and their plans take a sinister turn.

Across the five plays, which featured at the MRT’s space on 42 Street, there was some pretty questionable writing and some ‘let’s be subversive for no real gain’ touches, including gratuitous nudity and Williamsburg beard bashing.

Thankfully for me, Paul gave by far the best performance in the best play of the evening, so I didn’t have to lie when I told him how great it was. He seemed to really have connected with his character, a fragile man who both hated and needed his abusive grandfather. I’d never seen him perform before, so it was a real treat.

Here’s hoping they get through to the next round.