The experience of watching this piece by Chris Goode is like the slow joy you get from realising you have made a new friend without really trying. Goode, who also performs, has created an intimate tale that manages to weave together a vast array of elements including a 14th century instructional diagram, Petula Clark, a lonely supercomputer and cross country running as if they were natural bedfellows.
The show tells the story of Shirley, a boy with an unfortunately girly name whose life consists of sighing over his unrequited longing for the most popular boy in school and searching under his bed to check the mystery contents of a small black case. When he meets Wound Man, an unlikely superhero with a variety of weapons sticking out of his body, his whole life begins to change.
Goode is a beautifully tender narrator who guides us delicately through Shirley’s story and cares for his characters as a new parent might care for their child. The intimate and simple staging is perfect for this beautiful and quirky comedy that manages to be inventive and original whilst discussing one of the most familiar subjects of all: The difficulty of growing up.