Thursday, 5 June 2014

'Circles' Tricycle Theatre ****

I have experimented with a range of theatrical venues recently, and visited the Tricycle Theatre for the second time this year. 'Circles' is written by Rachel De-lahay in 2014, and first performed at Birmingham Repertory Theatre suggests the real struggles of gang culture in council estates across the United Kingdom. Set in the rough and dilapidated outskirts of Birmingham, we are introduced to 16-year-old Malachi, who is extremely streetwise, casually makes acquaintances with 15-year-old Demi, who is comparatively different to Malachi as she dresses and speaks quite well. On the other hand, Malachi dresses in a tracksuit and his English vocabulary is atrocious. All of the scenes involving Malachi and Demi are set on a Number 11 bus. I found the narrative to be vastly intriguing as you want to see whether a romantic love story could develop, but due to the immense differences it doesn't appear likely. De-lahay also brings together Angela, who is in her thirties and recently has experienced domestic abuse from the husband has fled and taking refuge at her mother’s, Phyllis, who's in her fifties. However, their relationship is extremely fraught as Angela blames her mother for her lacklustre childhood. I was horrified by the scene where Angela forcibly makes Phyllis swallow a consumption of tablets. This suggests she has immense hatred towards the mother and how parenting can affect your outlook of life. The dialogue and narrative is wonderfully contemporary and it forces you to become aware into how you need to think about how parents treat and respect their children and vice versa. Wondrous work by De-lahay to say the very least. The performances by the company were well delivered, both comically and emotionally. Toyin Kinch was amazing as the only male character, Malachi as he makes us see how horrendous parenting can really impact on a person’s development. In this instance it's saddening to see such a streetwise child, who will probably not be that successful in adulthood. Danusia Samal is acceptable as Demi. She was very precise in the teasing moments, and how at the end she is manipulative Malachi into a death-trap. Sarah Mendez is gracious as the satisfied and abused, Angela. She was incredibly menacing in the violent scenes with her mother, played so grotesquely by Janice McKenzie. Her movements were well executed with the limp. The direction by Tessa Walker was brilliant as she has been able to direct an issue that estates are facing daily to a good standard. The performance was well constructed and an educating experience and a definite visit to the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn.

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