TWO impressive and dark dramas were performed in the Victoria for the Swindon Fringe Festival.

First, Italian theatrical troupe Le Ore Piccole brought their acclaimed play The Casting to the venue.

The story drops the audience into the middle of an unusual job interview,, where two young people compete to be chosen for a mysterious errand with a £100,000 reward.

Over a tense and often uncomfortable hour, details of their task and what led them to this point are slowly and carefully revealed as the pair become increasingly desperate and forced to obey the whims of their intimidating interviewer.

Chiara Arrington, who also wrote the play, and Andrea Ferrara give committed and intense performances,while Massimo Leone plays their sleazy interrogator perfectly.

This was followed by Peter Hynds from Swindon Theatre's one-man show Listen, a long monologue written by Matt Fox in which a war veteran discusses his trauma.

Peter's powerful acting and convincing delivery expertly maintained the illusion that this was a real war veteran baring his soul in front of us. The confines of the Vic's back room enhanced the claustrophobic effect of The Casting's bleak basement setting and intensified Listen's intimate confessional.