Hannah and Hanna (3 stars)

This article is from 2015.

Hannah and Hanna

Two 16-year-olds transcend community tensions in Margate, 1999

If this debut production is anything to go by, CultureClash theatre company has a bright future ahead of it. John Retallack's Hannah and Hanna is set in Margate in 1999, when tensions erupted between the local community and incoming Kosovan refugees. Egged on by her boyfriend Bull, 16-year-old Hannah joins in the racist taunting and publicly harangues recent Kosovan arrival Hanna.

But when Hanna's brother is injured in a fight, Hannah's family helps him and the two girls – and their families – become friends, despite the community tensions that surround them, bonding over Smash Hits and Natalie Imbruglia's 'Torn'.

Cassandra Hercules and Serin Ibrahim – who founded CultureClash – impress as Hannah and Hanna; they're full of energy and raw talent. The ambitions of their theatre company (to make work that is politically and socially aware) are admirable too, and here they're supported by the guiding professional hand of Greenwich Theatre.

Its cultural reference points might have dated, but Retallack's play feels as relevant now as when it was written 14 years ago. And if CultureClash continue to engage with work as intelligently as they do here, there's a lot to look forward to.

Assembly George Square Studios, 623 3030, until 30 Aug, 1.20pm, £9–£11.

Hannah and Hanna

  • 3 stars

CultureClash and Greenwich Theatre Having fled her own country, Hanna, 16, from Kosovo meets Hannah, 16, from Margate. Can a shared love of karaoke bring about an unlikely friendship or will the racist tensions of small town Britain prevail? At a time when UKIP shares a stage with the major UK political parties and…

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