Academy of Risk

Academy of Risk explores the tremendous pressure placed on students through their own eyes. This ensemble piece - performed by a young, talented cast of fifteen - looks at the most high-pressure academic scenarios and how they are dealt with.

Impressively, they’ve also made a decent show.

The plot is well-structured, with a variety of connected character arcs. All these arcs are thought through, with an introduction, conflict and the change brought on by that. But this is done in the space of a 40-minute script, meaning that those arcs are almost always too underdeveloped to bear higher significance.

The presentation, on the other hand, is excellent. Using boxes, bodies, and various props, all the major locations are realised. The physical theatre elements are tight, quick and well-choreographed. The coolest part is that one surface of the boxes works as a chalkboard, an intelligent use of available material. The occasional Brechtian chanting and repetition is employed, to little dramatic effect, but usually it is used just to fill a scene change, which the technique accomplishes well.

With younger actors, a broader range of ability is the norm. In Academy of Risk, all the actors play strong archetypes, but to different degrees of success. I liked James Stevenson, whose extreme poshness was a joy, and Annabel Mackinlay, whose voice, aided by a subtle microphone, was haunting and impressively mature. Others were less impressive. I saw potential in Gabriel Vyvan’s physicality, but as a central character, it was disappointing that he got so little dialogue, making him hard to like.

From the Writer’s Note and what I saw on stage, it was clear that Academy of Risk was created with a number of goals in mind. It needed to suit a large cast, let them all use their talents, and be done in less than an hour. Stargaze Theatre has done that. Impressively, they’ve also made a decent show.

Reviews by Bennett Bonci

Gilded Balloon Teviot

So You Think You're Funny? Grand Final

★★★
Assembly Rooms

To Hell in a Handbag

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Tiff Stevenson: Bombshell

★★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

War of the Sperms

★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Church Blitz

★★★
King's Theatre

The Divide - Part 2

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

This is the story of a school deep in the heart of Cornwall, whose students would rather hang out in an old storeroom than face the Head. These pupils know that, sometimes, when the system gets you down, a touch of escapism is the only answer. This is the story they aren’t allowed to tell: an unusual book is discovered in the library of an old house by the sea, the new initiates of The Academy are inspired to dare each other into doing increasingly dangerous activities, until eventually one of them takes a step too far...

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets