Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne
There are some moments of pure joy in the theatre, and tonight was one such evening.
Jonathan Likes This, a play developed by Lee Mattinson in conjunction with performers from Live’s Youth Theatre, from a fifteen minute performance some six months ago, has taken Jack’s, David Stanners, wings and flown.
The premise of the play is the death of Jonathan Fudge and the resulting communication via Facebook of his friends. They all comment, LOL, ROFL and bitch each other. Then Jonathan passes comment and ‘likes’ what his friends are saying and doing.
Jackie Edwards, Meghan Doyle, Emma Crowley Bennet, Patrick McNamee, Simon Zack, Georgia Richardson, Louise Ross and Andrea Scrimshaw communicate the pain and loss of losing their friend, the joys and anxieties of teenage angst, where celebrity and fame are the watch word of the day. But in communicating, there is little actual eye contact, and for this play, this is the genius of this production. Each line of dialogue played directly to the audience in direct address, as though the character was typing it the PC or Laptop, and yet the communication between the cast is astounding, hence the long list of cast names. Each actor on the stage is focused, has developed a fully rounded character and puts the audience at ease within minutes, seasoned professionals have warmed up at a far slower speed.
The run is short, playing 14 and 15 September only, so grab a seat while you can. It is an evening of joy, melancholy, laughter and surprise, I am pleased to have had my eyes opened to the Facebook generation, for they have talent and a great wisdom.