Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre Company brings a fresh and charming cast to the stage. Unfortunately, Revolution Society does not have the script to make this show the sharp new comedy it professes itself to be.
Sarah Power’s play is good-natured and inoffensive but, by all accounts, mundane. The show depicts a small group of university undergraduates who found a club with a view to overthrowing the government and getting rid of the stock exchange. Rather weirdly, the characters seem to have the self-awareness of school children, agree that they don’t know what they’re doing and come up with master plans like selling greetings cards. It claims to be about the (clichéd) predicaments of frustrated students but in reality often comes across as a satirical representation of youthful hope. Its conclusion is unclear and seems to teeter somewhere in between an idea that aspiring for change is a rather stupid thought and a portrayal of its glorification. Essentially, it doesn’t really bring any new light to the subject matter and has an identifiable inconsistency of purpose.
This could be forgiven easily enough if the setup was carried through with significant comedic flair. While the play is generally mildly amusing and well-acted, it doesn’t deliver any laughs which are substantial enough to distract from the fact that little is happening. Similarly, the manner of the play’s directing, which favours naturalism and presents minimal innovation in terms of the use of stage space, doesn’t bring much by way of spice to the mixture.
The performance is, however, underlined by a distinct fluidity and professionalism which is impressive from such a young cast. Revolution Society is a solid enough production, all characters are believably represented and it maintains a calmly playful sense of humour. The only flaw that qualifies as a major one is the plot; it’s just that the other facets of the show do not bring enough to truly counterbalance this. Nevertheless, Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre Company presents some potential.