Chewboy Productions at Riverside Studios (venue)
18 November 2021 (released)
19 November 2021
Surrounded by the party detritus of Year 6 Leavers disco Bazzer holds court. This is a DJ with high levels of guilt and anxiety papered over by a fun packed bravado that barely conceals his fragile grip on life. As a play it draws nostalgically on audience's memories of their school discos, but more importantly the desperation we all feel finding our place in life. The need to belong.
Georgie Bailey script is sharp and brilliantly switches from moments of unfettered joy and partying, to silent moments where we get to see the subtext of Bazzer's life and a tragedy that has stained his confidence and progress. The use of the audience within the action feels totally embedded in the style of the piece and adds to the fun, and more surprisingly the poignancy.
At sixty minutes it's a whirlwind of emotions as Bazzer is confronted by the appearance of Matty Bovril his school rival, and for whom his guilt is deeply rooted. Jack Sutherland totally inhabits Bazzer In a brilliant performance. As he draws us into his life and world, the character its etched in the sweat, his body gyrations and his ever truthful eyes. He gets every nuance out of the dialogue and the scenarios.
Mike Cotterell direction adds much to the sharpness and every switch of location and time is totally clear and absorbing. This is emphasised too by the excellent lighting and sound. Some of the 'other voices' are so cleverly placed that audibly it appears they are coming from people sat in the audience.
This is an all too short run for what is play that offers the question, are we really having fun and are our memories as reliable as we think they are. What is the truth? Does any of us really know?
A must see.