This is an absolute blast of a show. The fourth show from Police Cops, who have previously been on tour and in London and the Edinburgh Fringe previously. It is clear that the three-man group have a great handle on the jokes and physical aspect of their performances.
This is a three-person play, following the lives and loves of a brother and sister, and their best friend, from when they first meet at school, to after graduation, to university. Along the way, their close friendship is threatened by various events and miscommunications. Developed with support from the Soho Theatre development labs, this is a punchy and kinetic show, in which the hour passes by in – almost – the blink of an eye.
It’s 1998, 19-year-old Ben and his mum Viv are moving house again. This time, they’re cramming all their belongings into a one-bedroom ex-council flat in World’s End, Chelsea. They quickly make friends with their neighbours, Ylli and his son Besnik, who are Albanian refugees. The aspirational Viv is unfazed by the move but quiet and high-strung Ben can’t cope. He’s determined to shut himself away with his Nintendo, but the charming and confident Besnik has other ideas.
In anyone fifteen years old, emotions are running high. Everything feels bigger and more extreme than it actually is, so it’s easy to be swallowed up by all the feelings. Add on top of that being queer in the North of the UK, and the teen years are bound to be an absolute rollercoaster. Drip is a lovely reminder of what it feels like to be young, and how important friendship is.
Cuckoo by Lisa Carroll has all the elements of a wonderful coming-of-age story. Set in a small Irish town, this play packs many a punch, giving us a raw look at what it means to not fit in, to feel lonely in your hometown and how as a teenager, the need to be liked can seem more important than anything else.
Rory’s taking her dad on his dream trip to the North Pole. The Geography teacher has always wanted to be a proper explorer, and Rory grew up hearing stories about historical adventurers setting out into the great unknown to discover the world.
An increase in conversations on diversity indicates that people are starting to come round to the importance of more than a token few woman and people of colour on our stages. White male dominance in theatre is increasingly being called out, with some small and mid-sized venues and companies leading the way on diversifying their work. But physical disability draws less attention in the diversity debate, and learning disability even less so.
In 1997 Edna Walsh’s Disco Pigs hit the world with the story of an intoxicating and obsessive friendship between two teenagers, Runt and Pig, and their crazy, oneiric, visionary night out. Today, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Tara Finney reprises the play in a vivid production permeated by the bittersweet taste of nostalgia.
Katie is a fairly average eighteen-year-old living a life busy with A-levels, uni applications and her older boyfriend, Abe. She’s not sure what she wants to do with the rest of her life, but she’s enjoying the here and now of Luton in the springtime. Her fragmented story by Jack Thorne focuses on one afternoon after school that starts out predictably, but soon spirals out of her comfort zone. The action that unfolds tests Katie’s maturity and independence, but the story is not one that is particularly interesting even with good delivery.