Compelling school drama with a strong cast
This article is from 2012.
Sparky is a clever but obstructive and truculent 15-year-old boy who is facing permanent exclusion from school. Siouxsie is a charismatic, rebellious fellow pupil who has, she believes, psychic powers.
Davey Anderson’s The Static, in which the teenagers come together in a bleak attempt to control their world, is often poetic and insightful, with a real understanding of the social, family and educational conditions which can leave some adolescents feeling deeply alienated.
The sophisticated use of video projections, sound and music generates energy, but it also makes the production feel filmic, as if it lacks confidence in the capacities of live theatre. Meanwhile, Neil Bettles’ choreography is strongly reminiscent of Steven Hoggett’s work (such as Black Watch). It is a style acclaimed by some, but which I continue to find obvious and laboured.
The play shifts unevenly between an intelligent empathy with its young characters and a tendency to caricature (not least of the teachers, Mrs Kelly and Mr Murphy). Nevertheless, it is a compelling drama, with a strong cast led by Brian Vernel (Sparky) and Samantha Foley (Siouxsie).
Underbelly Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 26 Aug, 2.40pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).