Billed as a “modern, vigorous tale of London life on the edge”, The Frontline multiple narratives intertwine as characters including drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes and pimps mingle on the streets of Camden, revealing a picture of a fractured city and exploring issues of multiculturalism, drugs, sex and contemporary politics.
The 23-strong ensemble cast includes John Stahl, Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Ben Bishop, Trystan Gravelle, Paul Lloyd, Paul Copley and Ashley Rolfe, and the show features music by Olly Fox. Director Matthew Dunster is an associate director of the Young Vic, whose previous credits include Some Voices, The Member of the Wedding, Testing the Echo and You Can See the Hills, which opens at the Young Vic later this year (See News, 3 Jun 2008).
The heavy rain on Wednesday’s press night failed to dampen the mood of the critics, most of whom were generous in their praise for Walker’s “heaving social panorama”. The “outstanding ensemble” came in for particular accolades, although some felt the number of stories being told led to a “serious loss of narrative clarity”. However, most appreciated Dromgoole’s continued new writing policy and saw The Frontline as another “feather in the cap” of an “exceptionally strong season at the Globe”.
- by Theo Bosanquet