Toys

Jack BK's original written piece deals with class struggles, privilege and ignorance in a clear and effective way. Whilst it doesn't really challenge any social boundaries, it does offer a nice piece of drama on how levels of influence can affect people’s lives.

A great piece of new drama and hints at great things to come from cast and crew.

The staging of the piece is minimalist and effective. With two characters tied up and blindfolded, the audience immediately feel tense and this tension is maintained throughout. Andrew Crouch plays the captor Darren with quiet malice, managing to be menacing without becoming too over the top or unbelievable. He skulks the stage slowly, contrasting with the frantic attempts of Miles (George Pundek) and Katie (Dodie Finamore) to escape from their ties. The piece is directed nicely and the pacing seems perfect for its escalating tension, though the inclusion of Miles' drums as a metaphor for aggression seems a bit clunky and the piece would work just as well without.

The play pushes a social agenda whilst still integrating it into the plot, although the material appeal of Katie and Miles' relationship does seem a little too focussed upon at a couple of points. Likewise, there are a couple of unnecessary conflicts added to the back story of the drama which seem inserted for the sake of pointing out the dramatic value of drug abuse instead of actually discussing the effects of drugs on an individual. However, the main crux of the drama is good and perpetuates the uncertainty of Miles' involvement with the firing of Darren's fiance.

It's a shame that the piece ends so abruptly, because the actors work the play well, with Finamore nicely embodying Katie's constant confusion at the situations presented to her. Excepting some clunky scene changes and the play's open-ended conclusion, it's a great piece of new drama and hints at great things to come from cast and crew.

Reviews by Louise Jones

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Miles and Katie wake up tied to chairs in the basement of their comfy Kensington apartment. They think they are subject to an aggressive robbery until Darren calmly walks down into the basement and throws an accusation at Miles which, if true, will rip his life apart. Toys is a play detailing the themes of modern day class struggles, the feeling of entitlement and the daily struggle that one endures in life.