17

Bear Pit Theatre present a sweet show which narrates different generations’ experiences of when they were 17. The ensemble take recorded interviews of people aged 69 to 96 and turn their experiences into performance. Although a bit humdrum, this show explores themes which we can all relate to, such as love, joy, memory and loss, making it a pleasant show as we reminisce together down memory lane.

This is a pleasant show which explores human stories which we can all relate to.

The big ensemble cast work well off each other, using their movements and elements of physical theatre to portray the older generations’ experiences. The result is that we can compare our own lives to those of the past. Using the original recorded material in the show is a nice touch; the show verges on being verbatim theatre, which makes it more truthful and real to watch than a fictional piece would be.

However, one of the let-downs of this show is that a lot of the interviews were with people who have lived through the war. I found myself wanting there to be a mix of age groups, as there aren’t any accounts of people who spent their youth in the 70s, 80s or 90s.

This is a pleasant show which explores human stories which we can all relate to, since we have all lived through the trying age of 17. However, it still feels like the show is in its early stages: though sweet, it is still rough around its edges.

Reviews by Emily Blackwell

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Performances

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The Blurb

What does it mean to be 17? To be young with the world at your feet, or old before you’ve had a chance to live? Using the memories of people aged from 69 to 96, they recall life at that age, whenever and wherever that was. We journey through time to tell their stories and find the truths of that one elusive year. Bear Pit Theatre explores youth through the prism of age; these are tales of regret and joy, tricks of memory and nostalgia, and the transience of youth.

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