Secrets of Us

If ever there were a production which vociferously defends the ability of young people to make theatre with the impact of a professional standard (whatever that actually means) this is it. The large cast of teenage actors in Secrets of Us deliver a gutsy performance replete with comedy, pathos, understatement and an all-out attack in just the right amounts.

Crucial to the success of this piece is the tight performance of the cast.

What is more, the subject matter dealt with in this self-defined ‘shocking exposure’ of modern-day adolescence is not straightforward. Fearlessly the cast confront loneliness, pornography, homophobia, self-harm, lad culture, suicide, teenage pregnancy and the minefield of online communications – though not necessarily in that order.

These subjects are not interrogated in great detail but they each make up a pastiche of complexities which together form a worryingly accurate portrayal of growing up in 2015. To some, what is shown onstage will be shocking, but it never feels as though the difficulties faced are being over exaggerated or that what we are presented with is anything but the truth.

Crucial to the success of this piece is the tight performance of the cast. Dressed in school uniforms (including black and red ties, the colours of which symbolically dominate the piece) the individual performers willingly relegate themselves to the role of being one of the group in order to focus the spotlight on whoever may be revealing their particular story at the time. The ensemble movements are tightly rehearsed and demonstrated with excellent timing. We are always able to discern elements of individuality within each character; this is made clear from the outset where each one reveals a particular difficulty they have had to face.

In this particular performance, the energy dipped slightly during the middle section where some longer scenes follow one after the next. These are in stark contrast to briefer moments such as a simply beautiful and heart-rending physical sequence in which a particularly emotive narrative thread reaches its peak.

Amidst an all-round impressive group of young performers, there are some stand-out performances. Dan Badrick playing Oakley perfectly communicates, through subtle, nuanced expressions and good comic timing, the difficulty faced by many school-aged boys of having to suppress their emotional side to fit in as ‘one of the lads’. There is also Tess Hodgson Sakamoto as the elective mute ‘M’ who manages to evoke a sense of desperate sorrow without saying a word.

The few adult characters presented lack the complete believability of the younger ones but this is understandable as those actors are performing beyond their experience. If you think that you can handle what our younger ones go through on a daily basis then I heartily recommend this piece to you. I’m sure it won’t be the last time that we see these talented performers either!

Reviews by Joshua Clarke


A Gentleman's Game

Assembly George Square Theatre

How to Win Against History

Assembly Roxy

A Streetcar Named Desire

C venues - C nova

A Number by Caryl Churchill


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Shocking secrets and consequences of online grooming, alongside the joys and pain of adolescence unfold in this dark romantic comedy. Is this the reality of growing up in a digital world? You decide and watch as the secrets unfold before your very eyes. Jess Walters's new play is a dark romantic comedy that showcases seventeen actors whilst a multimedia, physical theatre and captivating chorus align, underpin and bring forth three complex journeys illuminating the dark potentialities of coming of age in a digital world.

Most Popular See More

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £32.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets