Thursday, 25 May 2017

“Punk Rock” by Creatio Arts
Guildhall Theatre, Derby.
Set in the library of a modern Stockport grammar school, it tells the story of various angsty adolescents as they flirt, bully and pontificate their way through their A-level mocks.
Written by Simon Stephens and based on his experience as a teacher, we’re allowed into the secret corridors of the minds of seven teenagers, all with their own agendas, worries, crushes, peer pressure, exams, body image worries, sexual awakening and curiosity, basically everything that a normal teenager goes through throughout their teenage school lives. Most teenagers though don’t take things to the extremes that one of these does.
Simon Stephens is one of the most powerful modern day writers I can think of. He wrote "The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night Time" and
there are some parallels with that play in "Punk Rock"; mainly because it deals with mental health issues, as well as some amazing facts the play gives out.
I've seen this play before and loved it. This time round I loved it even more. there's a couple of places that still made me jump, even though I knew what was coming.
This is the first non-musical production that Creatio Director Matt Powell and his talented team of actors and production crew has taken on. They present incredible large scale musicals and if "Punk Rock" is anything to go by, as a starter, Creatio Arts also show that they can present amazing and powerful plays.
Andrea Pocock and Katie Wendorf are Producers for this captivating and hypnotising play.
William Carlisle (Morgan Ratcliffe) is desperate to attract the new girl in school, Lilly, and soon becomes almost addicted to her. Unfortunately she chooses Nicholas as her lover. Morgan turns in a powerful performance in this debut for Creatio and as Carlisle his little lies soon become unravelled.
Lilly Cahill (Lucy Judson), the new girl at Stockport Grammar School. Seeing the fear in her face towards the end shows what a versatile and emotive actor she is
Bennett Francis ( Kheenan Jones) is the bully in the bunch.It's the sign of a good actor when you really start to dislike the character you see in stage and Francis is a real nasty bully, physically and mentally he is just nasty.It was nice to see him whimpering lie a baby as a reversal, but that didn't end his comeuppance there!
Cissy Franks (Emily Cox) is bully Bennett's girlfriend and you can see just how afraid she is of him as well. Her friends show their distaste for Bennett in the way they start to react to Cissy.
Nicholas Chapman (Lewis Haycock). Lewis gives another solid performance, and quite restrained in this. It really is nice to see another side of Lewis, having only seen him do musicals. Straight plays really suit him and he gave a truly believable performance as the part of the loved up pairing.
Tanya Gleason(Lowri Spear) was, in a way, the mediator of the play between the various characters, but even she was afraid to stand up to Bennett. Loved the accent which gave the setting in Stockport more of a real feel for the area
Chadwick Meade (Jack Readyhoof) was the wimpy kid of the bunch. The swot who had all the facts. Bennett made him a target because of this and his image. Degraded and belittled on a regular basis by his tormentor, he jumped, winced and did as he was told. I've seen Jack in many roles over the years and all of them different. This is my favourite up to date. Again it's great to see Jack in a non musical role and his character acting as Chadwick was incredibly well observed. A lot can be said just by facial expressions and just looking at Jack's as Chadwick told you everything you needed to know.
Dr. Harvey ( Lisa Judson) came into the play at the end when she was observing the particular person who snapped. A nice controlled and calming performance.
Directed by Matt Powell, assisted by Lisa Judson. they really can't do anything wrong for me in local theatre. as I said at the start, I love this play with the powerful message it brings to us and the slow burn leading up to the explosive ending simmered nicely. You could tell the ones in the audience who had not seen this play before because when the inevitable happened, there was an audible reaction to the event. Matt also designed the set.
I'm going to mention the programme as well because it gives plenty of incite into Creatio and the actors. So if, as you walk up the stairs to the
theatre and your offered a "prospectus for Stockport Grammar School", buy one (it's the programme) because after you've read it from front to back, you can use it to fan yourself in the warm theatre.
Go and see this power packed slow burn play with this fantastic cast. If you've only seen them in musicals, go and see another side of their talents.
“Punk Rock” is at the Guildhall Theatre in Derby until Saturday 27 May 2017

No comments:

Post a Comment