Review: Run, Bunker Theatre

“You’re not sure what’s real and what’s not”

You might say that it’s tough to be a teenager in this day and age. Add in being Jewish and also gay and there’s a lot to deal with, but the joy of Stephen Laughton’s Run is that this examination of these intersecting identities is never heavy-handed. It is as enthusiastically complex as the 17-year-old Yonni himself and directed by Lucy Wray, Tom Ross-Williams delivers a cracking performance.

Stretching just over an hour, Run covers the gamut from the thrill of first love (with Adam, at the ‘Jew Camp’ they both get expelled from one wet hot summer) to the challenge of balancing Orthodox family comforts with the rising anti-Semitism he experiences outwith his native North London community. And in Laughton’s prose, combining poetry and punch, Yonni’s life is richly realised. Continue reading “Review: Run, Bunker Theatre”

Review: Screens, Theatre503

“I’m a second generation immigrant, the generation that makes it or breaks it”

In its opening quarter, Stephen Laughton’s Screens manages to be that rare thing indeed, a play that actually comes close to capturing the way in which technology has utterly transformed both our everyday behaviour and interpersonal relationships. Georgia Lowe’s smartly spare design allows for Richard Williamson and Dan English’s projections to take us through Al’s faltering first steps into gay online dating on Grindr, Ayşe’s hashtag-heavy documentation of her teenage strife on Instagram and crucially, a peek into their mother Emine’s inbox on her brand-new smartphone

It’s an ingenious route into the lives, both online and off, of this British Turkish Cypriot family living in Harlow but we soon come to see that Laughton’s scope is wider, much wider, than this, as he folds in issues of the immigrant experience, splintered cultural identity, homophobia, post-Brexit racial antagonism and much more besides. Thus Screens becomes a highly ambitious piece of writing about the difficulties in finding your self when personal and political circumstances are in such flux. Continue reading “Review: Screens, Theatre503”