Circle Game
  • By Isla VT
  • |
  • 19th Aug 2013
  • |
  • ★★★

As part of the American High School Theatre Festival, a group of US students bring Circle Game to the table, an original piece about stereotypes in urban America. Playing on the idea of being ‘trapped in the Circle’ wherein the stereotyping of society keeps you we chart the tragic (but predictable) story of Victor, a young Hispanic boy, which concludes with a strong (but again relatively predictable) moral message at the end of the piece. Filled with stories of gangs, broken homes, abusive relationships, discrimination as well as friendship, family and love, Circle Game touches on many familiar themes and situations and brings them out well but simplistically.

The play begins with an effective silhouette scene of a hooded youth, Victor, having an altercation with the police that ends in them beating him into submission and dragging him offstage. This incident, what led up to it and what followed, is then discussed by a group of individuals (representing different viewpoints and stereotypes) who were connected with Victor, including his mother, girlfriend, best friend and teacher who all begin their stories with ‘I remember’.

The production on the whole was very well acted, especially considering the language and scenarios were at times really rather clichéd, although in rare cases some performances were wooden and two-dimensional. The monologues in the piece were far more credible than the scenes of dialogue and conveyed more poignancy, whereas some of the other moments fell rather flat, often weakened by the notion that shouting equals intense emotion. The set was very simple, a large white backdrop projected with different colours and sometimes used to create silhouette quite effectively. Black and white graffiti-covered wooden blocks were moved around to create some sort of semblance of different scenes which had its moments of success.

The main problem with this piece is not that the subject matter of the play isn’t well delivered, or well done, but that it is overdone. Not enough innovation in the production made one forget the fact that we’ve seen pieces about stereotypes and the struggles of urban societal minorities and the like one hundred times before.

Reviews by Isla VT

Assembly Roxy

Calypso Nights

★★★★★
Just The Tonic at the Caves

Shooting the White Eagle

★★★★
C venues - C nova

We Never Land

★★★★
Greenside @ Nicolson Square

Unprescribed

★★★★
C venues - C nova

The Devil Without

★★★★

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

The Blurb

Explore the stereotyping of urban youth in America. Look at the harsh realities of urban living and the struggles within American society to survive. Are your judgements keeping us in our circle?

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets