Writer: Luke Barnes
Director: Cheryl Gallacher
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
The Public Reviews Rating:
With a simple set and strong performances, Chapel Street is a touching yet funny piece examining the reality of life for young people in the UK. Wanting a fulfilling career but unwilling to take the jobs on offer, Joe (Cary Crankson) feels he has nothing better to do on a Friday night but get smashed with his friends. At the same time, Kirsty (Ria Zmitrowicz) plans a drunken evening out with the girls to celebrate a mate’s birthday. Both performers are likeable and charismatic, telling their tales direct to the audience via microphones set either side of the stage, and as the night wears on first their mike leads and then their lives entwine.
Bold and brash, both characters unapologetically chronicle the events of a fairly normal Friday in their home town. Capturing the disaffected, discouraged feelings of young people today, the piece outlines the choices available to both Joe and Kirsty and the lack of belief that they will be able to better themselves. Brimming with nervous energy, Zmitrowicz is superb as Kirsty, a girl who dreams of going to University, but keeps being told she can’t afford it, with the implication being that she won’t cope. Crankson makes a charming and affable Joe, a friendly Jack-the-lad who just wants to enjoy himself.
The stories are cleverly juxtaposed, although the accounts eventually meet in the middle to get to the heart of the story. Although the performances are extremely good the pace sometimes lacks, and is not helped by somewhat clumsy staging around a shopping trolley. Although compelling and very watchable the story underpinning the play is not particularly novel – which is a pity given Luke Barnes’ punchy yet lyrical dialogue – however it is a enjoyable and thought-provoking piece with timely resonance.
Until 26th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: Chapel Street– Underbelly,