Posts Tagged ‘Frankie Fox’

I found this piece a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. Above all, it made me angry and upset at the sort of society we’ve become, one where some young people feel justifiably hopeless about the future. Fortunately, it has its lighter moments, and staging and performances to admire greatly.

Director Sacha Wares and designer Miriam Buether have created another of their extraordinary immersive environments. The latter is clearly going through her travelator phase as, like The Trial at the Young Vic last year, that’s what we have here, but this time snaking through the theatre like a flat, slow, fairground ride. It takes 17-year-old Liam, and us, through his life in London (well, his home in the southern suburbs and ‘up west’). We visit doctor’s surgeries and the offices of various government agencies. We’re outside shops & nightclubs and at supermarket checkouts, bus stops & parks, roadworks & bus shelters and a whole load of front doors pass before our eyes. Characters sit without seats (think of those silent statues in Covent Garden) and move on and off the travellator and around the space within.

Almost every social issue we face in broken Britain is touched upon and I found myself welling up at the plight of some of the characters, but mostly young Liam – broke, lonely, nowhere to go, no purpose in life. The performance of young Frankie Fox, in his professional stage debut as Liam, was as extraordinary as the staging, and there were more than twenty other talented actors in supporting roles, including another seven professional stage debuts.

Leo Butler’s 70-minute play covers a lot of ground and packs a real punch. I so wish Cameron and Osborne could be forced to sit in the front row and watch this slice of austerity Britain unfold before their very eyes. This is urgent and important theatre. Go.

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