The Friday Freedom Fighters – Etcetera Theatre, London

Reviewer: Christine Stanton

Writer: Paul Bonner

Director: David Frias-Robles

Brian’s a slave to the rave. His 70 hour working weeks are all leading to one thing – the weekend. Two glorious days of alcohol, drugs, clubs and football. Although the comedowns are bad, he at least has his childhood best friend Seamus by his side. But how long can they keep up their fight for freedom on Fridays without paying for it in other areas in their lives?

It’s hard to say what is better in this performance, the well-written script, Paul Bonner’s brilliant acting or the incredible soundtrack? Bonner writes with ease, taking the audience through a dark story, but elevating the mood by sprinkling it with humour and club music. He draws the audience in with his likeable depiction of Brian – a relatable character who has seen some struggles and is trying to make sense of his decisions through life. His off-the-cuff comments are a hilarious surprise to lighten the more serious moments without making a mockery of them, almost like a strobe light on a dance floor, they come out of nowhere and captivate the audience.

Director David Frias-Robles clearly has great chemistry with Bonner, the two of them working in unison to portray the difficult themes sensitively. Their depiction of drug dependency and mental health is faultless, a perfect balance showcasing the fine line of fun versus addiction. The way Bonner meanders through the story is engaging, believable and informative, building a solid backstory and character development as he goes along.

Although heavy subject matter, this never feels depressing or intense due to Bonner’s uniquely light-hearted way of presenting the story, raising awareness for mental health, while raising your spirits at the same time. If you don’t leave the theatre with basslines running through your bones and a smile on your face – then you clearly weren’t watching the same show!

Runs until 16 October 2021

The Reviews Hub Score

Raises awareness & spirits

The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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One Comment

  1. I had the pleasure of attending this performance recently and what a performance it was ! Bonner has the crowd in the palm of his hand with a a truly mesmerising act. Mixing the dark subject matter with sprinkles of comedy throughout had my emotions going from the intense to rib tickling laughter. A incredibly well written and performed show with a spine tingling sound track. An perfect intimate venue with excellent sound and lighting. Go see it whilst you can 5/5

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