6 March 2010 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Set on the Lemonade Estate against a backdrop of disillusionment, poverty, lack of opportunity and gang culture, Ghost Boy tackles some of the issues facing society today. The communal areas of the estate have been taken over by Jamal ( Tachia Newall) and his gang, much to the distress of Dennis ( Everal A. Walsh), a resident of the estate from another, older generation who has been troubled and angered by the disintegration of his local community and the grip this gang have over the local area, particularly the communal areas such as the local park. Taking the law into his own hands, Dennis adopts a superhero persona and becomes a local vigilante with limited success. In the course of his activities he crosses paths with Jamal; who is hiding a guilty secret that is eating him up inside and eventually leads to his downfall. From the outset this production seems confused as to its purpose. Does it seek to entertain, shock, inform, advise, highlight or dramatise? Slapstick comedy and slightly unusual and nonsensical props and renditions of happy-go-lucky songs sit side by side with the dark and difficult subjects of teenage gangs, death and lack of respect for human life but are constantly in conflict rather than homogenous and leave the audience confused as to what exactly the play is trying to achieve or whether to laugh or cry. The story line is nothing original, the power of the conscious and the triumph of good over evil makes the story easy to understand but also means it feels very predictable and the conclusion is not a revelation, it is more like a forgone conclusion. Also, the show is far too long with several scenes feeling very drawn and in some cases, unnecessary. This production could be much improved with some ruthless editing to make it sharper, edgier and much slicker. The use of projection and good lighting ( Mark Distin) is something we have become used to at the Contact and again this performance does not disappoint in this area. Musical acompliment by Hobbit (beatboxer) and Hannah Marshall (cellist) provide some useful enhancements to the performance but are not enough to lift this show out of the rut it digs itself in to. This is unfortunate as the performers do their best with the material given but on this occasion fail to ignite anything spectacular. This feels very much like a work in progress and with some constructive reworking, Ghost Boy could perhaps fulfil its potential in the future. - Ruth Lovett Related Content Back to Northwest Homepage
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