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The Heights (Newcastle)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Sweet Dreams are made of this … so sang the Eurhythmics. At the time the song was released I was a “fresh” faced teenager, now “some” years later I see the same dreams and angst of a new teenage generation, still as painful and wracked with raw emotion. Self belief and confidence grow with age, so it is surprising that a group of teens can demonstrate such focus, confidence, application, talent and sheer commitment. But Live’s youth group demonstrate just these qualities, and in abundance.

The play is charming on one level, rather like a surreal waking dream that seems tangible, yet dark, menacing, violent and brooding on another; where finding your place in society or in a peer group seems so important to a happy existence.

Lisa McGee has written a truly charming tale, full of imagination and story telling, an “Under Milk Wood” for today. The cast are wonderful and as mentioned, levels of focus from such a young company is astounding. Special mention should be made to Emma Crowley Bennett (Dara), Michaela Forbes (Lillie Lee), a very confident and mature performance from Niek Versteeg as the narrator Jacob. Iona Douglas (The Nice Woman) and Grant and Arron Gair as the two obese and hilarious twins, Fat Pat and Fat Matt. All ably directed with flare and a youthful knowledge by Phil Hoffman and assistant Lauren Pattison.

A wonderful creative setting by Andrew Wood, (I am always amazed with the way the space seems to alter with each new production) and a really delightful puppet from Andrew Stephenson.

This play and its cast are an absolute joy and I look forward to the next event staged by such a talented, committed and company.


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