Writer: Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair
Director: Finn Den Hertog
Reviewer: Tom Ralphs
Square Go is a play that proves that theatre doesn’t have to be high-brow or earnest to make a point. You can do it just as well by having grown adults playing squabbling children and looking like wrestlers from 70s TV shows.
Gavin John Wright and Daniel Portman play Stevie and Max. Max has been challenged to a fight by Danny Guthrie, a boy so feared that he has to be referred to by his full name, not Danny or Guthrie. Max’s skinny friend Stevie switches between supporting him and goading him in the run up to the fight as they hide out in the toilet, the perfect place to be, given the effect the prospect of being beaten to a pulp is having on Max’s bowels.
Along the way they engage in refreshingly nostalgic and innocent schoolboy games, normally involving describing someone who looks a bit weird as being your brother or your dad, as the reason for Guthrie’s anger starts to be revealed.
It’s cleverly done as Guthrie is neither hero or villain and can also be seen as a victim, not that it makes any difference to Max. The line between childhood bullying, schoolboy fights and toxic masculinity gradually blur and wider parallels with international arguments emerge to make the point that we live in a time where childish adults are playing out their squabbles on the world stage.
The great thing about the play however, is that for everyone who comes away from it with a serious message, there are just as many who leave marvelling at the spectacle of grown men squaring up to fight like children.
Runs until 25 August 2019 (not 20th) | Image: Contributed