Ask Me Anything
Crescent – The Vaults
Reviewed – 13th February 2020
“I left the theatre with my ears ringing, my foot tapping and my mind racing”
The Paper Birds Theatre Company are a brave lot. They contacted teenagers in six locations and invited them to ‘Ask Me Anything’. The responses have been analysed and this show put together as a response.
The imaginative, cluttered set incorporated elements of two of the performers’ bedrooms from when they were teenagers. Technology is strongly used with live video feeds, Alexa like screens constantly interrupting and explaining topics and video clips from friends, family and associates of this team. Nice to see a mobile friendly show where photos and sharing are positively encouraged.
Early topics tackled included, how to book an appointment at the doctors, sex, identity, self-esteem and child birth. All amusingly tackled through conversation, audience participation, play acting and song. It felt like you were watching this production being workshopped and as entertaining as it was, I found myself impatiently waiting for the the bigger issues to be tackled.
A box at the front of the stage contained these ‘big topics’. Just as so often in life, the easy topics were dealt with and the hard topics left to the end. When eventually they were tackled, it had a huge impact. The video story by the lovely Sangita, telling us how her son lost his battle with depression, was both beautiful and heart-breaking, I almost felt we were intruding by listening in to this, what a courageous lady!
The three cast members gelled delightfully. Kylie Perry was playful and energetic, Georgie Coles bravely read us some very funny entries from her own teenage years diaries and Rosie Doonan displayed her superb musical talent, her ‘About To Lose It’ song had a touch of the Suzi Quatro’s about it.
I left the theatre with my ears ringing, my foot tapping and my mind racing. A play that is brave in addressing these issues, I came away with the message that the youth of not only this generation, but of those to come, should and must always be listened to.
Reviewed by Chris White
Photography by Topher McGrillis