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Beautiful Thing - An Urban Fairytale

Kucom Theatre's April production, Beautiful Thing by acclaimed British playwright Jonathan Harvey, is set during a long, hot summer on the Thamesmead Estate in Southeast London, where three teenagers edge towards adulthood. Leah has been thrown out of school and spends her days listening religiously to the music of her idol, Mama Cass. Next door lives Jamie, bright but introverted, who skips school and argues with his pub manager mother, Sandra. Next door to Jamie lives Ste, popular and good-looking, who seeks refuge with Jamie and his mother from the regular beatings inflicted by his drunken father. During one such night, Ste sleeps head to toe in the same bed as Jamie, and gradually they discover their mutual affection and love. Deftly combining comedy with ardent drama, 'Beautiful Thing' has a script that sings - full of characters that you really care about, abounding with attitude, energy, frankness and humor, this is a tender, touching and charming play.

Review

The Jonathan Harvey play currently playing at the Kucom Theatre’s Playhouse is… ‘A tender love story set during a hot summer on a South-East London housing estate.’ Sandra, a barmaid, and mother of Jamie, a lonely awkward teenage boy who doesn’t seem very happy with his life, reside in a London housing estate. Sandra’s new boyfriend, hippy ‘artist’ Tony, pays frequent visits. The next door neighbour on one side, is the Mama Cass obsessed Leah who has been expelled from school. On the other side is Ste and his family. Ste is a sporty well-liked teenage boy mistreated by his violent father. He often seeks refuge at Sandra’s place, which leads to sharing Jamie’s bed sleeping 'top-and-tail'. The story tells of the boys’ growing attraction for one another, from initial slow glances to their undeniable love. It deals with the problems of coming to terms with their sexuality, and of their families and acquaintances reactions to this. The music of Mama Cass features throughout the play, fitting quite appropriately to the storyline. The casting and directing of this intricate play is excellent. The three young people; Jonathan King, Gordon Hervey and Sheree Hollywood play their parts well, and tackle the complicated accent cleverly. Bronwyn Grannall’s portrayal of Sandra is brilliant. Her passionate approach supports the younger players, as does the directing and acting of Jim Kelly. 'Beautiful Thing' is presented at Kucom’s Shakespeare Street Playhouse 21st, 22nd, 26th, 28th, 29th April

Bookings – Mackay Entertainment Centre

Phone: 4957 1777 Freecall: 1800 646 574

For Mature Audience – Contains Adult Themes

Review by Bente McDonald, published in the Mackay "Daily Mercury', Saturday 22nd April 2006

 

 

     
 

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