Richard Herring and fellow comedian Rachel Stubbings appear in the award winning short film While You Were Away, written by Gabriel Miller and directed by Ben Mallaby.
It has just won the Audience Award at the ECU Film Festival in Paris , and was written by Sundance-nominated screenwriter Gabriel Miller and directed by the BAFTA-nominated director Ben Mallaby.
This film is as dark and intense as a strong shot of espresso. The comic premise behind it – that during his wife’s trip away, the husband has done something unspeakable – is fairly commonplace and could be played as a knockabout, jaunty ninety second sketch. In fact, David Mitchell and Olivia Colman have done this sort of thing a few times over.
In this piece, however, the tone goes from matter-of-fact to melodrama, hooking you into an absurd situation that doesn’t make sense, yet seems almost too real. The fact that Herring is playing against type, dropping the upper register he uses so much in his stand-up persona, serves to further deepen the mood. It’s a very compelling piece.
Running at just over five minutes, this short has plenty to offer. The rhythm and consistency of the piece seems to have been affected slightly by the editing process, which knocks off some of the gloss, but the eye-of-the-storm calm that we witness within this couple’s disaster is enthralling.
You can watch the film below.
If you are having problems with playback, try clicking here, where you can download the film.