People Like Us, Union Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

When the results of the referendum came through in 2016, a big percentage of Londoners were shocked. Many people who had grown up here and made the UK their home suddenly felt unwelcome, and those feelings have only grown in the years since the announcement of Brexit.

People Like Us follows a group of friends and their monthly book club. The show is split into two time frames: Pre-vote results and Post-vote results. The group is a mix of Remainers and Leavers and within the first few minutes of their book meeting, feelings become heated as political conversation is unavoidable.

The premise of a book club is a really clever one. Writers Julie Burchill and Jane Robins have done a wonderful job of creating characters that are intelligent, thought-out, and that are not just stereotypes of the typical Brexiteers. They have succinctly allowed the characters to make their case and do quite a good job of showing both sides equally, without an obvious personal opinion seeping through (which is a really difficult thing to do).

In particular, the women of the show are really concise, and it is refreshing to see passionate, angry women strong in their ideals portrayed onstage. Their fiery attitudes are palpable and create a tension that is very entertaining to witness.

People Like Us has dubbed itself ‘a show about sex and Brexit but that is not entirely true. It is more a show about friendship and the effect our current political climate can have on it. Having a personal history with someone is not enough and that sometimes you need to make a choice about how important your values are to you.

People Like Us runs through 20 October.

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