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Review of TRIBE at London Theatre Workshop

It’s the Summer of 2012. Scout Troop 9th Hoddesdon is in training for a competition against hundreds of other troops. The time has come to tighten those woggles and learn some drills! Order quickly deteriorates as the troop’s six scouts drift into playful imaginary escapades, role-playing and games of power during which they discover their true characters. Scouting policies are under attack nationwide, and now this troop’s members are developing some questions of their own. London Theatre Workshop has a lovely little theatre located above the New Moon pub in Leadenhall Market. On entering you walk through the stage to your seats which did illicit “I’ve never been on stage before” from my companion for the evening. The set itself was cleverly designed (Justine Williams & Jonny Rust) and used throughout the play in ways that made the most of what there was. It represented ‘the outdoors’ clearly from entering the theatre. The lighting was on the darker side but that’s intentional to appropriately depict the environment and time of day. It all worked well together and set the mood for a couple of hours. I wasn’t sure how a play about the Scouts would be bought to the stage and if it would even work for that matter. Thankfully it worked really well. The play is well written by Brandon Force, Matthew McCray and Rowena Russell and Matthew McCray directed it well and Daniel Sheehan was responsible for the effective lighting. The entire cast came together superbly to deliver The Tribe. It tells the story of a Scout troop who are practicing for an upcoming competition. There is the struggle of different leadership techniques between Scott (Robert J Clayton) who is the traditional Scout leader and Finn (Marcus Churchill) who is the modern all-inclusive deputy leader. Both Clayton and Churchill give performances that are completely believable. Simon (Aaron Phinehas Peters), Colin (David Fenne), Julie (Georgia Maskery), Henry (Nick Pearce), Charlie (Ross Virgo) and Maisa (Shalana Serafina) are all around the age of 12 being played by actors who are older. Peters, Fenne, Maskery, Pearce, Virgo and Serafina all did a great job of adding childlike traits to their acting without overdoing anything and the play turning into a farce. Admittedly I doubt 12 years old was really that long ago for any of them but that just shows their maturity as actors. It is difficult to pick a couple of actors out to specifically mention as everyone did a fantastic job. I will say Fenne excelled when the character of Colin goes somewhat off the rails. Maskery delivered the competitive tomboy superbly. Pearce managed the meek weakling rather well and Seranfina gave us the timid nature of Maisa so well you just wanted to give her a big hug. If you get the chance I definitely recommend you give The Tribe a watch if you can fit it into your schedule. 4 out of 5 stars Review by Lee Cogger Cast Simon – Aaron Phinehas Peters Colin – David Fenne Julie – Georgia Maskery Finn – Marcus Churchill Henry – Nick Pearce Scott – Robert J Clayton Carlie – Ross Virgo Maisa – Shalana Serafina Creative Team Writers - Brandon Force, Matthew McCray and Rowena Russell Director – Matthew McCray Producers – Brandon Force & Jody Tranter Set Design – Justin Williams & Jonny Rust Lighting Design – Daniel Sheehan Sound Design – Jack Barton Costume Design – Carrie-Ann Stein
Tribe Full Cast – (Cameron Slater)

It’s the Summer of 2012. Scout Troop 9th Hoddesdon is in training for a competition against hundreds of other troops. The time has come to tighten those woggles and learn some drills! Order quickly deteriorates as the troop’s six scouts drift into playful imaginary escapades, role-playing and games of power during which they discover their true characters. Scouting policies are under attack nationwide, and now this troop’s members are developing some questions of their own.

London Theatre Workshop has a lovely little theatre located above the New Moon pub in Leadenhall Market. On entering you walk through the stage to your seats which did illicit “I’ve never been on stage before” from my companion for the evening. The set itself was cleverly designed (Justin Williams & Jonny Rust) and represented ‘the outdoors’ clearly from entering the theatre. The lighting (Daniel Sheehan) was on the darker side but that was intentional to appropriately depict the environment and time of day. It all worked well together and set the mood for a couple of hours.

I wasn’t sure how a play about the Scouts would be brought to the stage and if it would even work for that matter. Thankfully it worked really well. The play is well-written by Brandon Force, Matthew McCray and Rowena Russell with excellent direction from McCray.

The entire cast came together superbly to deliver The Tribe. It tells the story of a Scout troop who are practicing for an upcoming competition. There is the struggle of different leadership techniques between Scott (Robert J Clayton) who is the traditional Scout Leader and Finn (Marcus Churchill) who is the modern all-inclusive Deputy Leader. Both Clayton and Churchill give performances that are completely believable. Simon (Aaron Phinehas Peters), Colin (David Fenne), Julie (Georgia Maskery), Henry (Nick Pearce), Charlie (Ross Virgo) and Amira (Shalana Serafina) are all around the age of 12 being played by actors who are older. All did a great job of adding childlike traits to their acting without overdoing anything and the play turning into a farce. It is difficult to pick a couple of actors out to specifically mention as everyone did a fantastic job. I will, however, say Fenne excelled when the character of Colin goes somewhat off the rails. Also, Maskery delivered the competitive tomboy superbly. Pearce managed the meek weakling rather well and Serafina gave us the timid nature of Amira so well you just wanted to give her a big hug.

If you get the chance I definitely recommend you give TRIBE a watch if you can fit it into your schedule.

4 stars

Review by Lee Cogger

TRIBE
a new play by Brandon Force, Matthew McCray, and Rowena Russell
“First they let girls join the Scouts, now they’ve created a uniform especially for Muslims. What’s next, atheists!?”

It’s the Summer of 2012. Scout Troop Hoddesdon 9th is in training for a competition against hundreds of other troops. The time has come to tighten those woggles and learn some drills! Order quickly deteriorates as the troop’s six scouts drift into playful imaginary escapades, role-playing and games of power. Scouting policies are under attack nationwide, and now this troop’s members are developing some questions of their own.

TRIBE is a new play about the history, principles and values of Scouting, their intersection with national pride and expansion, and their relevance with the youth of today. Created by an international collaboration, the play explores the impact of changes in Scout policies in the UK to support inclusion, gender parity and religion.

London Theatre Workshop, 88 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0DN
Above New Moon Pub, Leadenhall Market

This production has been supported by London Theatre Workshop throughout its development.
This production is not endorsed by the Scout Association. It is a work of fiction.

Cast
Simon – Aaron Phinehas Peters
Colin – David Fenne
Julie – Georgia Maskery
Finn – Marcus Churchill
Henry – Nick Pearce
Scott – Robert J Clayton
Carlie – Ross Virgo
Amira – Shalana Serafina

Creative Team
Writers – Brandon Force, Matthew McCray and Rowena Russell
Director – Matthew McCray
Producers – Brandon Force & Jody Tranter
Set Design – Justin Williams & Jonny Rust
Lighting Design – Daniel Sheehan
Sound Design – Jack Barton
Costume Design – Carrie-Ann Stein

Wednesday 21st June – Saturday 8th July
Age Recommendation 14+
http://londontheatreworkshop.co.uk/

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