Writer: Stacey Gregg
Director: Emma Jordan
Reviewer: David Doyle
Being a teenager is difficult enough but when that’s combined with the task of having to explore one’s gender identity that journey is infinitely harder. In Stacey Gregg’s Scorch, that’s the task facing Kes. At times deeply moving, Gregg’s monologue manages to capture the difficulties society throws in the way of its transgender members. From the very first explosive moments, the show charts the extraordinary journey of Kes, a young teen dealing with the gender structures imposed on them.
At the heart of the show is a wonderful performance by Amy McAllister. Her exploration of Kesas they find their place in the world is enthralling. Combining expert physicality along with a genuine charm, the performance is exemplary. Crafting a quietly devastating journey through adolescence, McAllister forces the audience to confront their own prejudices.
Dealing primarily with both Kes’ discovery about her own identity as well a burgeoning relationship and the challenges that come along with it, the intimacy of the space gives the words an added urgency. Modelled on real life cases, the show is a sensitive and often heartbreaking look at people victimised by the world around them.
The show does feel like it ends somewhat prematurely, leaving the journey somewhat unfinished. We see Kes reach her lowest point but the recovery from that moment isn’t fleshed out as much as needed to truly make this an exceptional piece of theatre. A devastatingly honest monologue, expertly performed, Scorch is a heartbreaking look at one teenager’s life and society’s treatment of those who don’t quite fit within the parameters that it has set.
Runs until 28August 2016(not 23)