On the outside, Molly’s a street-wise, sassy sixteen-year-old college student from Salford who as she frequently tells us “Is shit with words and my tits are too small”. But it’s just a front because on the inside she’s a naïve, vulnerable young girl who longs for the love she’s not getting from the broken home she lives in. Then one day having a quick smoke before going to her class, she meets John when he asks her for a light and she embarks a journey that has disastrous consequences for both.
Glitter Punch is a love story with a twist which if you don’t see it approaching, turns what could have been a run of the mill, coming of age tale into something much darker. Writer Lucy Burke has written what is basically a funny, poignant, moving monologue from Molly with the occasional interjection from John. However, the play is structured in a way that engages us right from the start and we feel the young lover’s happiness as they search for something that’s missing in both their lives – love and hope. They’ve both lost their Fathers albeit in very different circumstances and that’s one of the things that draws them together on a journey of exploration of their feelings and emotions.
Charlotte Salkind is wonderful as Molly – you’d never guess that she only graduated from LAMDA last July. She’s not afraid to speak to the audience directly as she exposes the complexities of Molly’s character. It’s a tough role as Molly’s emotions and attitude change with a pull of a sleeve or a raising of an eyebrow and Salkind brilliantly delves deep into Molly’s psyche and makes us empathise with her. Hadley Smith as the laid-back John doesn’t have a lot to say but he brings a superb stillness to the part which makes the audience wonder what exactly is going on behind those thick, horn-rimmed glasses and what his intentions towards Molly are.
Mention too must go to Jamie Ferguson for the superb lighting design. It’s a very simple set – just two chairs in an empty space – and the use of blackouts and coloured spotlights illuminate the changes of scene, place and time superbly. There’s also clever use of sound effects and music which add to the atmosphere of the sixty-minute piece.
Glitter Punch in boxing parlance boxes well above its weight and the end delivers a punch to the head that has the audience reeling as they leave the theatre and make their way home thinking about what just hit them. This is a superb piece of theatre and deserves to be seen by a big audience so a trip to one of London’s oldest pub theatres is a must.
Review by Alan Fitter
After a critically acclaimed, sell out Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Some Riot Theatre return to London with their brand new play Glitter Punch. 16 year old Molly is seeking an escape from a difficult upbringing plagued by an over worked mother and alcoholic stepfather. When she collides with the mysterious John, the two embark on a journey of forbidden love, pushing the boundaries of conventional romance and forcing us to question how far we would really go for the one we love.
Runtime: 60 minutes
10th to 25th February 2017
King’s Head Theatre