Watford Palace Theatre
3 April 2012 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews There’s a strange gap between growing up and growing old. No, it’s not called “being grown-up”. The three characters of Kate Tempest’s first play inhabit that space, though they are all (one presumes) in their 20s. Charlotte is a teacher in a school which seems to have little to offer either its pupils or its staff. She’s going through a phase of being totally out of love with what’s turned into a dead-end, no-hope job.
Her long-term lover is Danny, a would-be, almost certainly never-will-be musician. They’re both friends of Ted, who’s in a boring but safe job and afflicted by a materialistic live-in girlfriend.
James Grieve directs it cleverly. He fills the stage with the paraphernalia of a disco or rock concert and the three characters use hand-held mikes for their spoken-rap soliloquies to the audience.
At the side of the stage sits composer
Kwake Bass, with his keyboard and drums. There’s a good use of projection onto the large screen which backs the changing south-east London locations ( Mathy Tremewan and Fran Broadhurst) and lighting which echoes these scene changes ( Angela Anson).
“You don’t have a right to happiness” is a moment’s flash of insight from one of the trio. What is interesting is that so many of the predominantly teenage audience at the performance I saw related utterly to these three people, even though they are shown to be a decade older.
Lizzy Watts as Charlotte is particularly effective; hers is anyway the most sympathetically-drawn of the characters.
Personally, I’d have liked to get up there and shake some basic commonsense into
Ashley George’s spaced-out Danny – and perhaps reminded Cary Crankson’s Ted that there’s a recession on, and he’s lucky to have a job. But that’s a measure of how well Tempest has created her characters, making them truly three-dimensional and not just sociological types, and how the design and directorial team has presented them for our understanding. - by Anne Morley-Priestman Related Content Back to Southeast Homepage
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