Theatre On The Edge have launched their latest production called Six Characters In Search Of A Handout at Kardomah 94.
This new black comedy is an outstanding piece of theatre with laughs, confrontation, guts and an unflinching genuine quality at its heart.
Dealing with a very hot subject that is very capable of blowing up if done wrongly, this production with a quality cast presents extremely well with six ‘Characters’ (real life people) asking six ‘actors’ (played by actors) to tell their real life stories of meeting at a food bank and how they ended up there.
The reality of the stories and the acting of them is hard to tell apart in a blissfully excellent way which moves the story along at a fantastic pace and also seems to explain some of the myths about the reputation of modern theatre in this day and age after careful cultivation over many centuries.
With a cast of 12 handling a really hot brick it would have been very easy for writer/director Barrie Wheatley to go down the political route and bash the Conservative government from pillar to the post due to the explosion of uses of food banks but it doesn’t.
It is also pleasantly noted that no one character dominates and the dynamic changes around as each character is explored in depth but for exactly the right amount of time to explain their personal story.
The cast of Molly Robinson, Maxwell Smales, Sara Featherstone, Dave Bush, Clare Crowther, Jamie Wilks, Kirsty Old, Ella Straub, Stan Haywood, Chris Gruca, Jackie Rogers and Katy Burgess are expertly pitched and perfectly suited to their parts.
The main strength comes from Arnold (Haywood) and Katie (Burgess) as the latter arrives last on the stage and gives a whole different dynamic with her ruthless treatment of the ‘Characters’ and is eventually taught a harsh lesson by the messed up but meaningful and charming older man.
With a political undercurrent which is perfectly handled by the wonderful cast who never allow it to takeover the proceedings this is very powerful storytelling at its finest with breathtaking control of a very difficult subject without creating a pervading scandal.
There is also an appeal to give to a collection for organisations that help to fight against food poverty with donations of Tinned food, Packets of food or money.
The production is on at Kardomah 94 on 5th and 6th November, Holy Trinity Church on 10th November and Northern Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) on Anlaby Road on 13th November tickets are £7 each at Kardomah 94, £5 each at Holy Trinity Church and £7/£5 at NAPA on the door at either venue.