Rebels with a cause or two

Kidnapping Cameron

Birmingham Rep

The Old Rep, Birmingham

****

The adolescent years are all about rebelliousness and this play tells the tale of what happens when a bunch of youngsters take political matters into their own hands.

Lucy (Hannah Kelly) is the bossy but enterprising 15-year old who is inspired and angered by the real-life story of Jessica Trueman who wrote to David Cameron about the closure of libraries.

Hatching a plan to kidnap the Prime Minister, Lucy is aided by Sarah who is worried that she can't go to university, James who thinks he may never get a job, Michael who is already anxious about the future for his unborn children and a team of other teenagers.

The plan succeeds and the young people get their chance to explain their concerns about the impact of Government cuts, but David Cameron tells them that as an individual, his hands are tied. What to do next to make sure their concerns are listened to? At this stage in the performance, everything becomes a bit surreal when Lucy's next kidnapping - of the Queen – is also successful but she can't do anything to help them either.

The cast sings and dances with verve and enthusiasm as we watch them portray a team who are grappling with leadership issues and what to do with their high profile captives. The role of Lucy is an effective vehicle for Hannah Kelly to show her undoubted talents.

POWER OF CELEBRITY

She's ably supported by Grace Barrington, Connor Doyle, Franklyn O'Connor and the spirited, talented others in her gang.  All ends happily when Justin Bieber (amusingly portrayed by Thomas Goodall) happens to pass by.  Taking a fancy to Lucy, he helps the youngsters save face and release their hostages. The power of celebrity!

This play was commissioned for and developed with members of The Birmingham Young REP and it provides a vehicle for the young people to protest about the impact of Government cuts on the lives of ordinary people.  That sounds serious, but the play is actually quite funny.   The set and lighting are effective with a Notebook of Forgiveness and news bulletins (read by Johnny Lomax) being important to the plot.  

The performance certainly offers a different perspective from the usual tales of youth disenchantment and disengagement. In the final analysis, the overall message is quite a powerful one. Why not teach politics in schools to encourage more young people to play an active part in creating change?

The audience is asked to deposit their own letters to Downing Street in a box before they leave. We did, and here's hoping that others do the same. To 21-07-12

Written by Jennifer Tuckett, Directed by Chris Hill & Rhys McClelland, Musical Direction by Daniel Summers

Laura Ginesi 

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