Company Three’s The Act is just brilliant. The end.
When a play is so wonderfully creative, interesting, funny and self-aware, it can feel a little trivial to even comment. The performances put in by every single member of the cast were unique, honest, hilarious and so perfectly sincere.
The Act is a performance piece about teenage sex. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the play, let alone describe the whole production in all its wonderfulness. A cast of sixteen artists, all younger than 19, deliver some of the most fast-paced, exciting, happy theatre to be found in London right now.
Endless episodes and scenarios and narratives all dealing with the nervous preparation filled angst of teenage sexuality. Ranging from dance to song to sketch comedy to non-naturalistic movement sequences, 70 minutes pass in a blink of an eye.
The performance gets off to a slightly clunky start, being introduced with a warning that the audience might ‘experience feelings’, two audience members are encouraged to walk around the stage with microphones and amplify ‘overheard’ conversations, all dealing teenage angst and the typical nervousness, over-preparation, ignorance, research and awkwardness that is so distinctive of being a teenager. Scene after scene after scene rush past, each with its own distinctive, simple statement about lived experience.
Subtly weaved through a maze of tight comedy, beautiful dance and superb level of energy, was a soft narrative about how we all prepare to perform and how that preparation is always too much and too little, not enough and much too much. At some point during the show, every performer contorts themselves, trying to balance on a line: a simple but effective image of teenage anticipation as a ‘balancing act’. The Act is about preparation and performance and getting it wrong and that being life. Everyone should go. The end
Review by Thomas Froy
Give her a cheeky smile, let her know you’re interested
You need to catch her eye, you know flirtatious stuff?
You need to be a little bit vulnerable –
Show her your soft side
But you don’t wanna be too vulnerable. You don’t wanna be too soft
Pretend they’re the only one
Because then they’ll feel special.
The Act is about love between teenagers. It’s about how you think we look together. The way things feel, the first time you feel them.
It is awkward, funny, terrifying. It is excruciating anticipation…
THE ACT BY COMPANY THREE
10 April — 14 April 2018