With a stage full of instruments and quirky props, including life-size Elvis, Operation Greenfield begins as energetically as it continues. Providing a window into the world of band practice in a teenager’s bedroom, four awkward adolescents prepare for the highlight of their year, Stokely’s Annual Talent Competition. Learning life’s lessons of love and heartache along the way, the band write music and drink Forest Fruit squash to the accompaniment of Bowie, Arcade Fire and the Polyphonic Spree.
Operation Greenfield is a charming coming of age story about teenagers trying to make sense of the world, their place in it, their faith and friendship. Though gawky and uncomfortable socially, the characters excel musically and the moments when they jam are powerful and uplifting. There are hilarious moments too, as we see the naive quartet negotiate each other’s personalities, practicing for the competition while jostling for leadership of the group.
All four actor-musicians, Clare Beresford (a genius on the percussion), Shamira Turner, Dominic Conway and Eugenie Pastor, who devised the piece alongside their director Alexander Scott, give committed and enthusiastic performances. Like a curious cross between Flight of the Conchords, Glee and The Vicar of Dibley, this play is truly original, entertaining and impossible to dislike.
- Francesca Waite
(Reviewed at Contact, Manchester)