These Are the Best Days: A Revue

Being a teenager is not easy. These Are The Best Days captures this down to a tee, examining both how this has always been true, and how it is specifically exacerbated by the modern world – camera phones and tweeting featuring more than once.

All five students beautifully demonstrate the micro-nostalgia felt so strongly through teenage years.

The show was darker than I was expecting, but not at all to its detriment. The majority of the extracts performed are monologues from well-chosen modern plays and these are interspersed with poetry from Philip Larkin, Max Robert Wallis and Kurt Schrôder. With strong language and themes more often than not revolving around sex, this is not a rose-tinted look at youth. It is avoids become too obviously gritty and Grange Hill-esque because of the naturalism of the performances.

At the age of 18, the performers are confident and mature in their delivery. The arresting opening piece by India Howland and Dom Varney is incredibly moving and stands out among the others. Apart from tales of romance in the modern age, the actors conjure parents, both good and bad and bring the pain of school onto the stage. This is showed particularly poignantly in a monologue performed by Frankie Herbert.

While it was generally well orchestrated, the repetition of themes made a run of monologues in the middle become slightly repetitive. More music could have avoided this, and would have been welcome considering the high level of talent apparent from the opening song. However, there is never a lull in the proceedings and the 45 minutes fly by.

As faces simply emerge from the darkness to tell more tales, the stripped-back minimalism of the set allowed the words their full power. Carrie Oliver's performance of ‘This be the verse’ is amusing, and Kit Bromovksky gives emotional depth to a poem about texting. All five students beautifully demonstrate the micro-nostalgia felt so strongly through teenage years.

Reviews by Amber Segal

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The Blurb

Join us for a programme of varied, cabaret-style entertainment, using spoken word, music, comedy and drama to explore the theme of the formative years connecting childhood to adulthood. Performed and collaborated on by a company who know best, this show is a compilation of past and present teenage takes on life.