Richard Milward’s cult novel Apples,
a tale of sex, drugs and rock and roll on a Middlesborough housing estate, was
hailed by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh as one of the
best books he’d read about being young, working class and
John Retallack’s lively adaptation is certainly an
authentic endorsement, with its jejune account of a modern Adam and Eve –
touchingly played by Scott Turnbull and Therase Neve – surviving the parties
and nightclubs to fight another day.
Apples is a core repository of a
musical dialect where “mint” means top hole (sometimes literally) and “bint” –
an old Army term last heard on the British stage in The Long and the
Short and the Tall -- a loose woman.
The play’s like an X-rated Grange
Hill, with pregnancy, rape and a Christmas disco; it’s very well done,
but a bit too pleased with itself, basking in a soundtrack of the Beatles,
Sugababes, Wham!, Queen and Portishead. Send in the clones.