How quickly you become adept at listening to the language of a child, fall into their world of make believe and play, and in doing so relive the memories of a forgotten childhood. But that what is so very telling in this play from the penmanship of Dennis Potter. A long forgotten world when childhood was about creating worlds of make believe and using imagination, where the cruelty of a child could manifest and resolve in a mouthful of spit and where fights could be lost and won with face to face bravado and bravery.
How different is the world of social networks and gaming of childhood in 2013.
But fear; what we learn and how we deal with peer pressure are all similar themes of today’s childhood, except without the click of a mouse to destroy and hurt and humiliate.
The seven strong cast are joyous and embody the characters of a group of sometimes friend, sometime enemy, the best friend and the bullied, with such believable body language and vocal patterns, that you never disbelieve that a group of adult actors can embody the mannerisms of a young child.
The running, jumping, fighting and playing are all stunningly choreographed and humorous as a result, but at the heart of this story is the heart-breaking cruelty that is inflicted by, and the sadness that is often shielded by the child.
The stunning set, unassuming in its simplicity; is a visual treat. The lighting is beautiful and evokes long carefree summer days, and dark frightening recesses.
The saddest part of the evening (apart from the tragedy in the play), is that this should play to full houses and tonight it didn’t.
But if this doesn’t help to boost ticket sales....I’m throwing my toys out of the pram!