Dragged Up

This speedy, sexually politicised satire is spot on and achingly relevant. The stage is left bare; guys wear wigs and girls don stubble as sexuality and the state of familial relationships are questioned. This whole process could so easily have been dull and try-hard had it been without the aid of punctual quips and neat characterisation, which thrusts youthful disdain high up onto adult plateaus.

Structured around a girl who doesn't seem to be attracted to either sex, the play balances her inner-turmoil well, as well as her relationship with a misunderstanding mother who takes her daughter's angst personally. In this instance - and during various similar occurrences throughout this new work - Dragged Up manages to see the light through a door dividing both parents and their children, a door left ajar throughout, presenting a constantly explosive juxtaposition of the ages.

Although respectful to disenchanted parents, the play is mainly spoken through the lips of the young, which seems fitting considering the cast are in their formative years themselves. The play isn't slapstick, nor crude or forcibly camp. Using comedy sparingly (but well), this work succeeds in well timed discourse and delivery, and a prolonged scene between a warring girlfriend and boyfriend (actors, of course, dragged up) lays out clichés between the sexes with bracing definition. Both young actors have a strong presence on stage and deliver powerful performances as members of the opposite sex, convincingly portraying the naive riffs of the youthful.

These are clichéd representations - but this is the point. The emphasis isn't purely on cross-dressing or sexuality, but on the depth and breadth of variation between humans, which can be ugly or rich but always pertinent. This is displayed through a melange of characters that needn't be men or women, but rather individuals who are as flawed as they are loving.

Reviews by Adam Bloodworth

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The Blurb

Can Carla get some backbone? What will Alice have for dinner? She’s killed Pete with the beef casserole! Will anyone listen to Georgie? Whack on your skirt and lippy, get ready for some serious cross-dressing fun.

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