This is a superb student production from St Edward’s School, under the direction of Jamie Johnstone and co-director Rebecca Clark. The ensemble of seven play multiple roles in Caryl Churchill’s play, which presents a series of vignettes on the themes of love and… information.
This show demonstrates the young talent out there and what can be achieved by school-aged performers.
Biologically, the play views sex as being about information transfer - perhaps an unromantic view of things. The script explores different facets of how information affects our lives—things we know about that we wish we didn’t, the exchange and transfer of information, the quest to know things and our ability to retain and the role memory plays. Recurrent themes emerge in explorations of language, technology, secrets and the tension between our public and private selves in contemporary society. The scenes are short - sound bites really - reflecting the rapid pace at which we live our lives in this information age, and offer a mosaic providing commentary on modernity and meaning.
This is a complex work and there is much in there to unlock. The students seem to have an excellent grasp on the script in bringing it to life. I am impressed with the performances by St Edward’s School, who prove to be well rehearsed and mature in their approach. The show is polished, and technically sound, with lighting by Casper Sunley and some music used well in creating a sense of place. The transitions through each of the 37 scenes are seamless, often with one actor leaving the performance space and another remaining, and transforming into a new character as they are joined by another performer. Some of Churchill’s trailed-off lines of dialogue give too much weight to pauses before they are ‘stepped on’ by the next performer, but this is a small complaint. Overall, this show demonstrates the young talent out there and what can be achieved by school-aged performers. It’s an excellent production of Churchill’s script.