Review: AGENDA ***

THEATRE

AGENDA 

The Space on the Mile. (Venue 39)

August 9 to 11 only.

*** Three Stars

This is an exuberant show performed by ten young people who become seventeen year old high school students. We are in the time of preparation for the school prom. All the many types you may expect are vividly portrayed. It would be invidious to highlight any one of the ten as all give very skillful and entertaining performances, and cast and director seem a little shy of further identification.

A committee of two, one male and one female, are preparing for the Prom – seating plans and so forth – and these two are the girl least favoured by some of the boys and the one gay character. It is a pity that we do not get to see the richly talked about guy he plans to bring to the Prom. But at least he is confidently out. It is a pity that there is a negative use of the word “gay” elsewhere which goes without comment.

Hormones are raging, of course, and there is the clash between doing revision half an hour before an exam and chatting and arranging a date. Gender roles and the pressures of growing up are key themes. One lad thinks he is “god’s gift” and is clearly very proud of his endowment, and this, despite the progressive attitudes around him, seems to work to his advantage. Another almost shy lad is taken with the female Prom organizer, and there is much comedy around his attempts to ask her out.

The weather is hot, and shorts are banned as part of uniform, so one rebel lad decides to wear a skirt – a rather short one as it turns out, and he is firmly told he must learn how to cross his legs.

The group play games about being older, and adults, and out for a boozy night,. Everything is very energetic and optimistic. If you see this show, you will find yourself, at the hands of this company, S A S Productions, reliving some of the highs and lows of teenage years, and the great pleasures and magnified anxieties, of that stage in life.

Tony Challis