A challenging, thought-provoking junior production.

Let’s face it – we’re doomed. Every representation of a future society seems to collapse into a dystopian nightmare, be it 1984, The Hunger Games or Divergent. The junior production of Joel Horwood’s This Changes Everything took this idea and made it even more sinister as a ‘community’ of young people gathered on an off-shore fort in order to develop a more equal society which they could then introduce to the older generation. However, this was swiftly interrupted by the arrival of Alva (Tina Lin), Klara (Isis Strange) and Kim (Rebecca Shepherd) as well as the disappearance of Hanne (Anna Williams). Whilst Isis and Tina seemed to be voices of logic and reason, both sounding thoughtful and mature, they were quickly swamped by Rebecca’s sinister power-grab. In conjunction with a very forceful performance from Georgina Johns as Maja who also seemed to desire power, they dominated the stage. Grace Muir’s sensible Sam soon recognised that she was better off out of the situation and fled, leaving a society that was collapsing into chaos. There were a number of other strong performances: Tillie Humphris as the logical Ebba, Lilly Moss as the rather cack-handed Basic Jane, Lucie Hawley as Agnes and, trying to pour oil on troubled waters, Blaise McMillan as Malin all stood out.

It is almost invidious to single out individual actors as the entire cast were incredibly powerful. Much praise must also be heaped on the four directors, all member of Year 10: Charlie Loudoun, Dylan Collier, Niamh Crinion and Sam Milner-Smith who also acted as an assured understudy. The set was also impressive, complete with graffiti, ladders and projections of the ‘community rules’ which changed as the power balance shifted, much as the pigs change the commandments in Animal Farm.

Towards the end of the play, the authority was summed up with the line “For people to succeed, others have to fail”. However, in this production, it is fair to say that everyone succeeded. Everyone connected with the production should be extremely proud of the strength and maturity they brought to this challenging text.

J. Robertson

Flickr photographs here