Ash (4 stars)

This article is from 2016


No time to exhale in this exhilarating and thought provoking production

It might not seem right to have an hilarious show focused on the habit of smoking, but Bric à Brac theatre company have pulled it off in this startling show. It in no way seriously promotes the pastime and may, in fact, turn you off the cancer sticks for good.

Based on the true story of George Crozier and interviews conducted with his family and neighbours, the play follows Neil from his first cigarette pinched from his mum's purse, to his discovery of hardcore nicotine addiction.

Though the show is packed with heavy themes and its conclusion pretty clear, it's performed with such energy and verve, thanks to quick, sparky dialogue and great live music by Paul Tonkin, that enjoyment is not overshadowed by the intense message. The jokes come thick and fast and the innocence of youth brings a light-hearted feel to an otherwise dark subject.

The cast are committed and clearly talented, projecting effortless charm and admirable timing throughout, bringing this whirlwind of a show to its inevitable conclusion with a massive, emotional thunder blow.

ZOO, until 19 Aug, 8pm, £10 (£8).


  • 4 stars

A play about the tobacco industry. Based on a true story.