GRITTY, modern and –for many of us – a look at the world through the eyes of our children and their peers.
I’ll Be Happy Tomorrow is a raw look at sexuality, peer pressure and damaged lives by the Marlowe Senior Company.
The nine youngsters in the company, aged between 15 and 21, performed a preview of the new play commissioned by National Theatre Connections and written by Jonathan Harvey of Beautiful Thing and Corrie! The Musical fame.
Staged in the round on the main auditorium, props and technical effects were kept to a minimum.
The actors comprise of Alex Baines, Vicky Baines, Abraham Brown, Simon Garlinge, Alex Jesperson, Max Mena, John Otterson, Maisie Eli Parsons, and Helena Vannerley.
The story looks back in stages at a homophobic killing and the impact on all those involved.
Alex Jesperson plays mouthy, attention-seeking and vicious Joanne brilliantly. Despite the nastiness of the character there is also a glimpse at how needy she is and how easily she falls in with the violence of troubled Siddie, played by Abraham Brown.
Vicky Baines is comical as Cyprus and Max Mena and Alex Baines both provoked thought.
This play is one of five that will be performed next month by eight youth theatre groups from Kent as part of the National Theatre Connections scheme.
It is the first time The Marlowe has been involved in NT Connections and it is the only presenting theatre ever to be a Connections partner venue.
A festival of the youth theatre plays runs from May 6 to May 9 at the Marlowe, working with youth companies from schools including Canterbury Academy and Astor college in Dover.
The NT Connections team will then visit all the venues, including The Marlowe, to select a production of each play for performance at the National Theatre in June.
For more details about the National Theatre Connections festival at The Marlowe, and to book tickets, go to marlowetheatre.com or call the Box Office on 01227 787787.