Writers and performers: Matt Zeqiri and Oliver Neck
Director: Sarah Thomas
Reviewer: Glen Pearce
“Out of the mouths of babes,” the saying goes but what if our nine-year-old selves had adult heads on their small shoulders?
That’s some Of Mice Theatre explore in their offbeat but charming comedy Play Time. Young Elton, aged nine is something of the school loner, nerdish and dreaming of a better education at prized academy Summit Peak, Elton unexpectedly finds himself in trouble outside the headteacher’s office.
Has he really assaulted fellow pupil Charlie, the schools Mr Popular? Is his educational high-flyer status at risk? Does he really poop his pants as the playground rumours suggest?
As he’s joined by a mystery fellow pupil his star pupil status is threatened, encouraged to take ever increasingly wilder steps in his bid to win a, somewhat unlikely, friend.
Matt Zeqiri and Oliver Neck create a sublime comedy duo, their over-exaggerated fake bravado reminiscent of anyone who can recall the trials and tribulations of the playground. The situations may seem far-fetched but, in the competitive world of the primary school playground, it’s all uncannily real.
Zeqiri and Neck capture the uncertainty of young boys perfectly, Without ever trying to disguise their adult selves. It’s a richly detailed, comic observation but one that also packs plenty of pathos as the pain of childhood loneliness and the need to belong permeates.
Slapstick, comedy, drama and even a couple of full on tap dancing musical numbers make for an engaging and funny Play Time.
Runs until 4 June 2017 at The Warren: Studio 2
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