NOTE: The following review dates from July 2009 and this production's earlier run at Pure, as part of 24:7. Casting may have changed.
One of the main pleasures of the 24:7 festival is observing fresh ideas being rehearsed to life. Sweet and Tender Hooligans, with their event contribution, Remember Me, do not dissatisfy, proving how being different can so often be desirable.
Upon entrance, you are faced with flashing lights and a greeter stamping your hand to a soundtrack of conventional dance ‘n’ trance music. Without the cute gesture of a programme and sweet on your seat (as well as a distinct lack of sweat and claustrophobia) you may well feel ready for a club night out. Although successful initially, the atmosphere could occasionally be toned down during the piece, with performer’s voices, despite being miked up, sometimes getting lost in the repetitive beat.
With only stage blocks as set, the actors do extremely well in captivating the attention of their audience as they reflect on a time of sex, cigges and exhilarating Manchester nights. Ste Myott (as Darren), Lowri Evans (as Jessica) and Jo Mousley (as Sophie) have a uniting energy that is addictive and raw, Evans in particular being delightful to watch.
On the whole, space is employed wisely, especially with the difficulty of performer’s having to act in the round. There are occasions, nonetheless, when action would be better positioned centre stage, audience members of the second row sporadically having the disadvantage of limited viewing.
Crossing the boundaries of theatre, the company play with what is and what isn’t acceptable, some material triumphing, whilst some requires polishing.
Experiential and exciting - remember this one, it’s worth going to see.
- Rebecca Cohen