Decky Does A Bronco
Winning revival of site-specific coming-of-age drama
This article is from 2010.
Reviving its award-winning 2000 production of Douglas Maxwell’s site-specific play Grid Iron set up home in a Canonmills park. In a circular arena focused on a swingset David, a self-confessed ‘pathological reminiscer’, dredges up childhood memories.
For five boys in 1983 Girvan Star Wars, ice poles and youth centre discos are the cultural touchstones as they make clumsy headway into adolescent masculinity where pecking order is settled by feats of athleticism on the swings. Broncoing (jumping off a swing while kicking it 360 degrees) and playfighting, the cast conveys the physicality of young boys, spending much of their time upside-down or rolling in the grass in dynamic scenes choreographed by Lucy Deacon and Moritz Linkmann.
Apart from narrator David (a captivating Martin McCormick), as the drama builds around an unnamed event involving Decky and the children become men, a second cast takes over in a switch more risky that the acrobatics. It’s a successful shorthand and uses the attachment of the audience to the first cast to strengthen feelings of the loss of youth.
That growing up is painful to do is a concept to which all can relate, and director Ben Harrison provides a bittersweet portal into everyone’s past.
Traverse @ Scotland Yard, 228 1404, until 21 Aug, 7.30pm, £17–£19 (£12–£13).