by Katie Sykes and Craig Edwards.

Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street SE1 2HZ To 2 June 2013.
1.45pm Mat Sat 11.45am
Runs 35min No interval.

TICKETS: 020 7645 0560.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 29 May.

Admirable in involving its audience, taking them and its story seriously.
It takes two to quarrel but only one to tell a tale. Here it’s Craig, a boy who has many friends with whom he enjoys doing different things. He’s someone young emerging into a world where it’s important to try-out friendships and relate to different personalities (some so assertive in their brief appearance through his descriptions it’s difficult to believe they’d be as flexible with friends as he is).

Craig also has two special friends, Max and Zoe, created out of objects, faces suggested by a bag or cushion, detachable when Craig wants to involve them in argument or action. And of course they argue, and of course Craig’s taken into the confidence of one who suggests “we” won’t play with the other.

Shoofly Theatre’s short show is an apt length for its 3+ audiences and engages playfully and visually with the difficulties young friendships can run into, pacing its story to give enough time to establish each point yet always moving forward. If it doesn’t go into great detail about the argument, that’s a gain because the overall arch, or dip, between the characters created on stage seems exactly gauged to be understood and followed by its audiences – certainly to judge by the concentration at this performance, in the Unicorn’s larger auditorium.

Max and Zoe’s quarrel develops steadily, through a calm, serious narration with humour coming from visual detail – the way, for example, Edwards manipulates the object-faces and Craig’s expression as they look towards or away from him. So, the piece amuses while maintaining the seriousness of the situation – and few things are as serious for those involved as a childhood falling-out.

Enjoyable and recognisable, the piece also has to provide a resolution. It’s largely a matter of time healing; the quarrel was yesterday, now it’s today and everyone can be happy again. It doesn’t have the cause-and-effect denouement of a story, but it makes the point that life goes on and the world doesn’t come to an end with every falling-out.

Edwards’ finely-judged performance is enhanced by Sarah Moody’s catchy, rhythmically lively yet never intrusive musical score.

Performer: Craig Edwards.

Music: Sarah Moody.

2013-05-31 12:53:36

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