Poppy must make a rather rapid readjustment to Year 11 after being abruptly relocated from Spain to a girls' school in a remote British town. Both awkwardly self-conscious and unashamedly frank, Poppy gives us a terrifying but real account of what it is to grow up in a place where no one expects you to succeed.

Despite the awful subject matter, Tennyson is hilarious, never staying still for a moment but constantly twitching, blinking and brimming with life.

Apart from the joy of Izzy Tennyson's performance, the overwhelming enjoyment of this show is its flawless accuracy. Anyone who was in Year 11 in Britain in the last twenty years can remember every detail of what Poppy tells us and will recognise every character she introduces us to. From the pretty girls only being cool because they have Jane Norman bags to the politically incorrect but totally accepted slang language, Tennyson has fully recreated a British teenager's mind. Her environment is shocking and dangerous but we remember every gruesome detail.

The script is full of examples of how liberally spread verbal abuse and derogatory language are at this age. From the joy of inclusion by being given a nickname to the condemnation of characters such as Emily the Dormouse who "hasn't done anything apart from being fat and boring", Brute takes us through first experiences with alcohol, teachers who swear at you and never talking to a boy because you look like a troll.

"You can be anything you want to be", the girls are told by their headmaster. Increasingly shocking as the play goes on is how these girls are left to fend for themselves after being abandoned or deliberately chastised by all the adults around them. In a play which questions who is to blame for the brutish behaviour of these girls and as the drama heightens towards its shocking conclusion, we find ourselves pinballing between accusing parents, teachers or healthcare professionals for the state in which our young people are left to fend for themselves.

With observations such as "The pretty girls are fighting... it's brilliant" and "If you don't laugh about it, you'll cry", Tennyson has perfectly encapsulated what it means to be a teenager. Despite the awful subject matter, she is hilarious, never staying still for a moment but constantly twitching, blinking and brimming with life.

Reviews by Cara Ballingall

C venues - C nova

Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Free for All

Greenside @ Infirmary Street

If Only Diana Were Queer

C venues - C nova

Two Thirds

Underbelly, Cowgate

Much Further Out Than You Thought


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



The Blurb

Being 14 is an awful age you know... You’re not a very nice person at 14. No one knows this better than new girl Poppy who's just started at an all-girls state school in a provincial English town. There are rules with no logic, sadistic jokes that aren’t actually funny and the most sinister games played out of boredom. And, you better not be fat or clever or you’re f*cked. Brute is an exciting piece of new writing based on the true events of a rather twisted, horrible schoolgirl.

Most Popular See More


From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets