Tuesday, July 21, 2009

24:7: Lub You and Exit Salford

Last night I went down to 24:7 again and saw the truly fabulous Lub You at Pure (Blue). This to me was a riveting piece of physical theatre, yet also linguistically spot-on: funny yet moving. We follow the viewpoint of a child, Charlie, as he develops from babyhood, only partially able to understand the sounds his parents make - in a brilliant stroke we the audience share his experience of this - through the birth of his younger brother and the cracks that appear in his parents' marriage as a result of the strains of parenthood. Finally, we move to share the consciousness of his developing brother in the complex family setup which ensues.

Eve Steele (well-known as Curly Watts' stalker in Coronation Street) wrote the play and brilliantly performed the role of Charlie - her acute observation is stunning, allowing us to recognize a child's behaviour anew while taking you right inside his world. As I said to Eve in the bar afterwards, I loved the script when I read it, and the production has fulfilled my expectations. New Arden graduate Amy Spencer was wonderful as Charlie's baby brother Bo-Bo, as were Ted Holden and new MMU graduate Tanya Hug as their parents.

You know, so far I have been sitting there stunned at the acting talent in this city...

The acting was excellent too in Exit Salford, another play I read (I'm trying to see first all the plays I read) (also on at the Blue Room in Pure). This is the tale, based on a true incident, of an ex-writer who befriends the youths who hang around his Salford home only to have them turn on him when he rents his rooms to foreigners. Alan French takes the role of the ex-writer and Rebecca Elliot, Emily Spowage, Ant Singleton and Tim Fallows play the youths and a host of other characters with fast switches.

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