25: 13 Red, 12 Blue

Before the lights had barely dimmed, the main actor confidently strode on stage and began the central monologue of how his life in Hull was bad. This is how the play began and is as about far as it seems to want to go. By the end not an awful lot had changed. Life was still not too great for him and not amazing for any of the characters that 25: 13 Red, 12 Blue decides to make us follow. These are the lives of the young people of Hull, who apparently all seem to work at Wetherspoons.

Several stories are presented for us apart from the main one. The one following a conversation between a paranoid conservative and his internet troll is by far the most interesting of the lot if only because it varies the tone a little, although credit must be given to the actor of the central monologue who gives a solid performance.

Throughout the play however, we are treated to a barrage of political satire for dummies. Conservatives are bad, Liberal Democrats are traitors and Labourites are not much better. Such is the political commentary we are presented with during the performance; commentary so cutting that any teenager with a vague knowledge of the outside world might have stuck it on Facebook a half million times. UKIP are also deemed briefly worthy of a one line bashing just in case anyone thought the paranoid conservative might be insane.

One story arc seems to thrive on this in particular, with a girl writing letters to the three main political leaders, presumably to allow the writer of this part of the script explain how ‘wrong’ they are this week. It is mentioned in the guide that this play is devised and I thoroughly believe this. There seems to be another story arc that serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever; a boyfriend and girlfriend occasionally seem to dress up , notably as Spongebob Squarepants, make a prank call and then she is pregnant. Nothing more is ever mentioned. Perhaps being pregnant is some sort of political metaphor. Perhaps it is the coalition’s fault?

The actors cannot be faulted for their performances. Smooth, confident and with a deep sense of character to even those involved in the most pointless story arcs, they are the saving grace that allows this show to reach 3 stars. Indeed, if you have been avoiding the news, world or life in general for the past year or so, you might even find the political commentary insightful and inspired. But if not, you will probably be preached something you have heard before, though this may well appeal to some of you amongst the choir.

Reviews by James Beagon

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The Blurb

New play exploring the lost generation - raised under Thatcher, excited by Blair and stuck with the coalition. Are they really just a bunch of uncaring, unmotivated yoofs? 'Voice of a new generation' (Hull Daily Mail).