Writer: Luke Norris
Reviewer: Laura Hibbert
Hilarious, heartwarming and relevant, Growthis a comedy about growing up and manning-up from rising star Luke Norris [So Here We Are, Royal Exchange; Goodbye To All That, Royal Court]. When Tobes finally plucks up the courage to see a doctor about the lump he’s ignored for two years, the audience learns there’s more he needs to deal with than just the problem in his pants.
Norris’ take on the coming-of-age story sensitively uses the very real issue and stigma surrounding testicular growths to highlight the physical and emotional impact of ignoring a problem – in areas of life, as well as the body. Cleverly entwining humour and sincerity into every punchline and reflective moment, Norris is triumphant.
The multitude of characters in Growth are played by an ensemble of just three actors: Andy Rush, Remy Beasley and Richard Corgen. Rush plays the part of Tobes but, even though this is the central role of the play, all of the cast are responsible for maintaining that fast-paced momentum, typical of most Paines Plough productions. With excellent direction from George Perrin, working together as a team, they succeed in making the character of Tobes instantly likeable and gain the audience’s empathy from the start – with not a joke un-laughed at or heart left unwarmed.
For the third year running Paines Plough, one of the UK’s leading new writing companies, provides the perfect home for yet another brilliant piece of contemporary theatre with their portable Roundabout venue. Witty and poignant – Growth is a show you will want to have a feel for.
Runs until 27 August 2016 | Image: Matt Humphrey