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CHAPEL STREET
BURDALL’S YARD

This piece from Gritty Theatre company is indeed gritty. It concerns Joe and Kirsty, as they separately prepare for their Friday night out in Liverpool; young people lost and trying to cope in a current society which holds little hope of fulfilment, employment or anything much for them. The writing, by Luke Jones (Despite an inexplicable quirk at the outset of having Joe read The Sun, which is anathema in that city: about as likely as Hitler enjoying a copy of the Jewish Chronicle), is taut and wickedly accurately reflects the richness of Scouse talk, while not stinting on the downsides of millennial working class ‘hedonism’, as well as its determination to get some sort of enjoyment out of life, no matter what. The real joy of the piece, though, is in the quality of the performances by Jessica Melia and Christopher Round, who attack the punchy, staccato script with utter confidence and energy: the timing perfect, the in-your-face nature of it (sometimes literally: freezing and holding a pose inches in front of an audience member) taken head on. This is an edgy script that could easily fall flat without the total commitment given to it by these two supremely talented actors, who bring out powerfully every aspect of the desperate humour and the pathos of a wild night in the inner city searching for fulfilment, and if not that, oblivion.

 


****
4 Stars

 

 
John Christopher Wood