Writer: Lottie Finklaire
Director: Gabrielle Sheppard
Reviewer: Glen Pearce
Parents may not find Hounded Theatre’s A&E comfortable viewing, with its unflinching look at the turbulent lives of youngsters barely out of school. However, while some of the participants may have imbibed an alcoholic beverage or three, A&E is a sobering look at the pressures of life and love for a generation just finding their feet in a world.
Lottie Finklaire’s script see’s two initially apparently separate scenes play out. The first see’s three young women in an A&E waiting room. It’s the aftermath of a wild party and one of their friends is unconscious after falling from a roof. The sterile waiting room and passage of time give all three opportunity to reflect on not only the fall but also their own rôle in it and in live in general. Depression, belonging and sexual adventures all tempering an outwardly happy lifestyle with a hint of sadness.
Overlapping these scenes we visit the burgeoning relationship between a young man and his new girlfriend. It’s an intriguing relationship. He reflecting on the breakup of a previous relationship, she a wild child with a desire to break away from the norm.
As both stories collide the connections become clear and we finally grasp the relationship between all five characters.
It’s a well-executed and insightful take on the pressures of youth. Finklaire captures the frustrated youth voice well and, in the three waiting room-bound friends, draws detailed and multi-layered characters. In comparison, Jay and Robyn seem less fully drawn and it takes a while to full engage with these characters.
There’s a strong ensemble feel to the piece with nicely observed performances from Eugenie River, Joel Reeves, Jessica Mescall, Gabrielle Sheppard(who also directs) and author Finklaire.
It’s a promising debut by this young company and, with some minor tightening of the script, a debut that shows real potential.