Flying High Theatre Company from Nottinghamshire is aptly named; that is exactly what this group of lively youngsters do throughout this performance. Forty-Five Minutes was written by Anya Reiss for young people participating in the National Theatre’s Connections Project. She wanted to write something that would be ‘simple and fun to do,’ while getting some of the frustrations she experienced at school out of her system.
Our actors are completely at home in this environment and rapidly create clearly defined characters
The story is certainly straightforward. Our students have been given the wrong deadline for completing their UCAS forms. They now have only forty-five minutes to finish them and press the send key on their computers.
The clock is ticking, but instead of quietly sitting down to finish the task in hand our students go into panic mode. No one is able to keep quiet. There are plenty of pleas for help, much maligning of people’s choice of subject to study at university, lots of bickering and endless nagging interspersed from time to time with more serious arguments and boyfriend/girlfriend revelations. In the midst of all this mayhem sits our one student of seemingly limited intellectual ability and deprived vocabulary. Having been told that everything in her personal statement is wrong and that it needs a complete rewrite, her response is to do nothing but lament her situation with interminable wailing. In marked contrast to the six Year 13 students frantically working away on their applications we have two year 10 students quietly attempting to research a project of their own. Inevitably they too are drawn into the mayhem.
Our actors are completely at home in this environment and rapidly create clearly defined characters whom we seem to have known for ages. The play demands sustained action, lots of energy, tip-top timing and an unrelenting pace. The cast manage this with consummate ease. The audience can relax and laugh.