Saturday, February 01, 2014


KEGS Drama Senior production 2014


For this year's senior school showcase, Director of Drama James Russell chose two contemporary pieces – both presenting a challenge to his sixth form actors, both thought-provoking explorations of contemporary culture and society.

Enda Walsh's stylish Chatroom explores the often murky world of online interaction between teenagers. Six assorted chairs, six pencil spots, six very recognizable adolescents. The confident performers work without making any eye contact, but build a convincing, often chilling, sometimes amusing series of encounters between young people.

In Caryl Churchill's A Number, Salter, the father, is confronted by three of his sons. Only one is his natural offspring, the others appear to be clones - “a scraping of cells”. A sombre exploration of identity and the lies we live with.

The standard of acting is impressively high. Two performances, though, are outstanding; I don't expect to see better on the non-professional stage this year. Max Purkiss, as the shy, suicidal Jim in Chatroom, and in A Number, Dom Short as all three of Salter's sons – a superbly realistic reading of a very unnatural scenario.

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