Leaving university is an exciting yet unnerving experience. The student moving from the stability of an education system to a broad and diverse world where there is no set structure, student loan or mentor. Basically, they’re on their own. So when a group of girls from Bristol and Bath hit this point upon their graduation day, they decided to take matters into their own hands and bravely create the theatre company DollyPop; premiering their debut performance ‘We. Are. Young’ in an outdoor setting at Green Park Station.
This 40 minute show provides the audience a snapshot into the lives of Lol (Claire Rowbathan), Dot (Jade Berks) and Liv (Emma Jarvis) on a not-so-typical night in. Their grumbles about work and dinner choices escalating to become a rather more sombre discussion where home truths, concealed struggles and university memories are revealed. But of course, there is wine and vodka and other precarious spirits to ease the blow!
Script-wise, it is quickly apparent that the writer was also a former student. Jade Berks drumming up sentiment amongst the audience as flashbacks to clubbing, bad boyfriends and Facebook stalking in the play bring to mind melancholic and fond memories for both the girls on and offstage. However this is taken deeper still as the story progresses. The three girls in light of the new opportunities they’ve recently been given, beginning to question the prominence of peer-comparison and self-doubt in the younger generation. Their obsession with reading how well everyone else have been doing on Facebook, making them feel less fulfilled with their own lives.
However whilst the basis for this plot is a thought-provoking and powerful one it does seem a little shambolic at times. The transition between past and future scenes are not always clear cut. The girls are often on their feet which sometimes takes away from the meaningful content they are discussing and the surrounding noises of Green Park can make it hard to hear what’s being said. Especially once those teen boys’ stereos start cranking out the tunes …
In all, I did enjoy this performance. The morals conveyed are spot on (in my opinion), the company and actors are all greatly enthused about what they do and DollyPop are certainly on their way to creating something that will prove inspirational to a wealth of young people. They’re not quite there yet.