I’ve been meaning to lessen my gaps between watching plays and writing reviews, and this has been one of my longer gaps. Apologies – anyone who saw me tearing my hair out at Buxton will understand way.
Anyway, in June I saw a play and two comedy acts worth reviews, and I was quite pleased with all of them. Let’s dive in.
We Are The Best!
It is Sweden in the early 1980s. According to popular mythology, this was the period in history when enjoying any pop group other than ABBA gets up hung drawn and quartered (with punishment today commuted to death by lethal injection). In actual fact, however, Sweden’s music scene was pretty much like ours, with diverse tastes from Scandi-disco to punk. Another thing that isn’t that different to us is the depiction of teenage life in the graphic novel Never Goodnight, later made into a film. It is this relatable theme that Live Theatre’s new artistic director is banking on. Almost everybody who comes to Live remembers their secondary school days, but where Live Theatre was pushing hard was to a teenage audience, who are going through this now.
It is the dress rehearsal of the Year 8 school concert, and impossibly rebellious friends Klara and Bobo are doing their hard-hitting (and, admittedly, slightly cringy) presentation about the plight of the planet. When they get dropped by the somewhat disdainful teachers, they resolve to take matters into their own hands. With a punk scene emerging all over, they see this as the best way of changing the world, with the first song Sports are Shit chosen after a netball practice where they are busy chatting to each other on the netball court rather than playing. Before you set your sights too high, though, this isn’t the start of a meteoric rise to fame alongside the Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, and Talking Heads (and later: the inevitable dignity-crushing downfall when they appear in an insurance advert). Rather, they are one of the many punk bands of the time who could only sort-of play instruments – yes, the title was being sort-of ironic – but didn’t care what anyone thinks.Continue reading