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The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Bridge Company presents Sticky

Sticky Production (c) Helen Murray
Sticky Production (c) Helen Murray

Sticky is a crazed and intense production; part teenage house party, part sex education for schools. Made up of a series of disjointed scenes and sketches, Sticky goes some way towards dramatising what a confusing minefield sex can be for youth today. It’s billed as an exploration of how our country’s terrible sex education has affected our young people and yet it never satisfactorily explores this with any kind of clarity.

Charlotte Josephine’s writing meanders from subject to subject covering everything from pregnancy to porn addiction. The ambition is commendable but she seems overwhelmed by the task and subjects such as STI’s are condensed down to a mere list of conditions delivered through a microphone. There are witty scenes throughout, performed well by the young cast, but overall the play seems wildly unsure of who it’s audience should be. It’s not informative enough for a young audience but it’s far too juvenile and simplistic to have anything of value to say to adults. A main focus for the piece is Jay’s addiction to pornography which, although being an issue well worth exploring, doesn’t feel like it has roots in real-world experiences. There’s a distinct sense that the truth has been contorted to create a more artistic product, which ultimately undermines the message of the show.

The strengths lie in the direction and design. From start to finish it’s a gorgeously messy assault on the senses. The ingenious direction holds the various scenes together and creates a world where the bizarre fits perfectly with the mundane. Stomping movement is used throughout, keeping a pulsing heartbeat of energy ever present to the end. The genius decision is taken to switch out pornographic video content for nature documentaries, highlighting our links with the animal kingdom and emphasising the strangeness of watching reproduction on screen.

All the design elements are on point, with a gritty set made up of polythene curtains that surround the space and industrial cubes that can be climbed on and house a giant porn-playing TV on wheels. Sounds and music constantly throb through the space creating a dreamlike party atmosphere. It’s a fully collaborative effort where its creators clearly have a strong and vibrant vision.

The young cast from the BRIT school are full of spunk and energy. They deliver their various characters with punch and conviction. Their youthfulness brings much-needed authenticity to the piece. A young, expectant mother is a stand out character, performed effortlessly with a dry humour and bluntness that draws you instantly in. Cray Russell is a constant presence on stage and brings a subtly and quietness to an otherwise restless space. Another stand out performance is provided by Sam Johnson who bursts with energy at every turn, especially when taking on the role of Mike Hunt, an overbearingly camp game show host.

With further development of characters and story, Sticky could be something really special. Unfortunately, as it stands, it’s a case of style over substance… but, boy, is it stylish!

3 Star Review

Review by Dan Reeves

A boy is stuck to a screen. Society shuns and shames him. But shame is the glue that keeps him stuck. With messy truths leaking out of skin things get ‘Sticky’. Britain’s stuck under an archaic sex education system that is failing our youth who, with pornography in their pockets, are filling in the gaps themselves. In a society selling shiny perfection, and public shaming becomes the norm, can humans be brave enough to show who they truly are?

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Bridge Foundation Company is a unique training initiative made up of recent graduates of The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology. It aims to equip members of the company with the professional skills and experience to launch them into the theatre industry.

The company is generously supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.
Sticky is being presented in rep with Infinite Joy by Brendan Cull and Robert Scott.

Creative Team
Director – Eva Sampson
Designer – Ryan Dawson Laight
Lighting Designer – Zoe Spurr

Cast: Leo Broadhead, Eleanor Chilton-Sutton, Sybil Clarke, Andrew Graham, Chloe Harris, Delainey Hayles, Sam Johnson, Olivia Kiely, Rasaq Kukoyi, Hannah Martin, Clay Milner Russell, Shanay Neusum-James, Eve Scott and Kai Thorne.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Bridge Company presents
Sticky
by Charlotte Josephine
22 JUN – 14 JUL 2018
https://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/

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