S.E.N (3 stars)

This article is from 2015


Tense and unflinching exposure of teenage prejudices from No Prophet Theatre Company

In an under-performing secondary school, two female teenagers, one wearing a hijab, attend an intervention. In this progressive detention, an inexperienced male teacher attempts to question them with a series of patronising stranger-danger, say-no-to-drugs scenario cards while the girls become engaged in a brutal and bitter personality clash.

The use of just one set, with no scene changes or music interludes, alllows the powerful stage presence of the three person cast to impress, and the tension is well paced throughout. Taylor (Olivia Duffin) is an excellent study of the disruptive female teen, her adept manipulation and provocation of her teacher in turns amusing and thoroughly uncomfortable. While Taylor is a hot-head, Aalia (Akila Cristiano) is a slow burner but soon the prejudices are tumbling out. S.E.N exposes prejudgement on both their parts, as well as their early acceptance of a 'people like you' mentality.

No Prophet Theatre Company boldly faces issues affecting the teenagers: racial attacks, underage sex, FGM, drugs and teenage pregnancy the basis of just a few of the insults slung between them. However, the ambitious scope leaves some potentially interesting paths unexplored with Aalia's character, in particular, not afforded the same level of personal revelation as the others.

Bedlam Theatre, 629 0430, until 30 Aug (not 18), 9.30pm, £9.


  • 3 stars

A classroom, South East London. The walls are lined with inspirational quotes to enthuse students who are 'a cause for concern’. In this unflinching play, the teacher and the students push each other to the limit, forcing them to confront unwanted truths about themselves. No Prophet Theatre presents this razor-sharp play…