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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Richard Milward’s cult novel Apples, a tale of sex, drugs and rock and roll on a Middlesborough housing estate, was hailed by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh as one of the best books he’d read about being young, working class and British.

John Retallack’s lively adaptation is certainly an authentic endorsement, with its jejune account of a modern Adam and Eve – touchingly played by Scott Turnbull and Therase Neve – surviving the parties and nightclubs to fight another day.

Apples is a core repository of a musical dialect where “mint” means top hole (sometimes literally) and “bint” – an old Army term last heard on the British stage in The Long and the Short and the Tall -- a loose woman.

The play’s like an X-rated Grange Hill, with pregnancy, rape and a Christmas disco; it’s very well done, but a bit too pleased with itself,  basking in a soundtrack of the Beatles, Sugababes, Wham!, Queen and Portishead. Send in the clones.


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