Friday, September 19, 2014

Gregory's Girl - Review - People's Theatre

Gregory's Girl
16th Sept 2014

Based on the 80s film by Bill Forsyth but brought up to date and set the north east of England, this is a light hearted look at teenage angst – all the things that teenagers worry about – love, sex and football!  
The boys are either obsessed with girls or football or both, and the girls are obsessed with boys.  The play follows a group of final year students as they navigate their way through puberty – discovering the joys and horrors of changing bodies, emotions, hormones and the opposite sex. It’s a combination guaranteed to create comic situations and indeed it does.
The comedy is a given, and this young cast definitely provided the one liners. The teenage shrugs and sighs and the youthful lust was well portrayed by the gang of hormone ridden boys. The romantic aspect was less obvious. This is quite subtle in comparison and was the weakest part of the production for me.  The key relationship is the ‘almost’ love triangle of Gregory (Simon Stuart), Dorothy (Alex Carmichael) and Susan (Anna Robinson). Susan likes Gregory, Gregory likes Dorothy, and Dorothy likes football. The Gregory –Dorothy attraction, and the Dorothy-football attraction were obvious, but it took me quite a while to suss out the Susan-Gregory link. I’d have liked Susan to  have had a much stronger presence in the play.
Overall it was a good evening with plenty of laughs from the audience, which is always a good sign, and some good performances – Simon Stuart in the lead role as the awkward Gregory, Arthur Thorpe as his much put-upon mate Andy, and Colin Jeffrey as Phil the football coach in particular, but everyone put in a great effort. The set was simple, with some very smooth prop changes by the cast (I thought it was just me who was impressed by such things but Lynn spotted them too!) though I am a little concerned that the goal posts might not have lasted the week!
And of course some great music!

Gregory’s Girl plays till tomorrow night (Sat 20th Sept). 

Denise Sparrowhawk

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