Melvin Burgess - The Baby and Fly Pie

This play is set in England, but in some kind of frightening, futuristic police state. A group of children, called the Rubbish Kids, work as scavengers on rubbish tips. Their lives are protected by Mother Shelley, who pays the death squads to leave them alone. They dream of finding a way out and then one day they find a man dying of a bullet wound, with a young baby in a cardboard box. Then they discover that the baby is worth seventeen million pounds. Is this their chance?

This is a gritty and depressing look into a possible future. There is little love and affection here and trying to do the right thing doesn’t necessarily bring any reward, possibly quite the opposite. Leaving Mother Shelley’s care doesn’t lead the children to any kind of happiness. Instead, they slip further and further into their nightmare, with no obvious way out.

This is an extremely interesting production. There is little in the way of props on the stage. At the beginning all the performers are huddled together, holding black bin liners, signifying the rubbish tip. At other times they hold up cardboard boxes to symbolise walls or buildings, and this is surprisingly effective. The cast give excellent, believable performances and really make the audience care about their characters. It’s quite a hard play to watch because we suspect, even if the Rubbish Kids don’t, that it isn’t likely to end happily. Well worth seeing.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

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The Blurb

The rubbish kids, protected by Mother Shelley, work scavenging through the tips. These kids dream of a way out, but even when they find a kidnapped baby, these losers may not become winners.

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