Bones (4 stars)

This article is from 2011


Honest examination of real life on the dole

Nineteen-year-old Mark has just been released from prison to find himself in a world that’s almost as grim as the inside. Drink, drugs, violence and abuse are commonplace, as well as an unhealthy disrespect towards women and authority – likely a result of being burdened with a disturbed addict of a mother or a granddad who is a far cry from the fluffy-haired octogenarians in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Mark narrates his current problems, including his mother’s unwanted newborn and how he is to get ride of it, and his bittersweet memories of the past. Projections are interspersed with the one-man monologue, aiming to challenge clichés and assumptions associated with ‘chavs’, council estates and benefits.

Actor Joe Doherty is an engaging young talent, bringing a strange relatability to a character who could have come across as completely unlikeable or impossible to empathise with, instead promoting understanding of the social and emotional problems which led Mark to where he has ended up. Bones is ultimately an intense, unsettling and very rewarding piece.

Zoo, 662 6892, until 28 Aug (not 22), 4.10pm, £9 (£7).

Bones Trailer by Jane Upton


  • 4 stars

Nineteen-year-old Mark is living a life he never signed up to. Heavy with the responsibility of caring for his broken mum and her baby, and pining for a past of Panda Pops, eggy bread and Brian Clough, Mark knows he has to do something drastic to change things forever. But how far will he go? An achingly honest portrayal…

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