Submarine

A seamless stage adaptation of book and film, Submarine deserves a round of applause. Coming-of-age, parental marital difficulties, terminal illness and the battle of hormones in a first relationship are all comically walked through in a pair of battered DocMartens by young Oliver Tate. It’s analytically entertaining to a precise level; getting caught up in Oliver's reporting and off-the-wall observations (sex only occurs if the dimmer-switch is half-turned, don't you know?) is a sure-fire way to forget that the themes covered are actually pretty serious.

Submarine's awkward humour reignites the trials and tribulations of being a teenager.

Endearing, neurotic and near-permanently in his duffle coat, Jonas Moore (Oliver) engages the audience, fills the stage and carries the awkwardness of being a lanky teen throughout the performance. From an eruption of giggles to full-bodied cringing, simply watching him in his daily challenges is like being a teenager again.

Simple set changes – like changing a jumper or turning on a CD player – intensify the innocence of this young man dealing with adult situations. Also, the contraption made of wooden pallets anchored at the back of the stage requires a review of its own! Set designer Mae-Li Evans has created a boxed, turnable, rollable, foldable bed, table, closet and storage space that seamlessly flows into the scenes. Throw that in with the top-notch acting and it's like a genie's lamp doing whatever you wish for.

Witty juxtapositions of dire stories about fish against jazzy spiritual speeches make for an unpredictable chortle. I tip my hat to the actors, who all manage to keep their faces straight and carry on the scene. Quirky yet straightforward, Submarine's awkward humour reignites the trials and tribulations of being a teenager.

Reviews by Lydia Nowak

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Fifteen-year-old Oliver Tate is torn between rescuing his parents’ slowly deteriorating relationship and luring pyromaniac girlfriend Jordana Bevan into falling in love with him and falling into bed with him. With his mother's mystic ex moving in next door and his father's battle with depression, Oliver is left with only an advanced vocabulary and near total self-belief. Losing his virginity or saving his parents’ marriage? Which will prove more important?

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