City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Apples Review

By Bill Dunlop - Posted on 26 August 2010

Fringe: Apples
Show details
Traverse Theatre
Northern Stage and Company of Angels co-production
Running time: 
John Rettalack (director and adapter), Mark Calvert (associate director), Verity Quinn (designer), Graham Wilson (lighting designer)
Jade Byrne (Claire), Dylan Edge (Burny), Abigail Moffat (Debbie), Therase Neve (Eve), Louis Roberts (Gary), Scott Turnbull (Adam)

Mint, as any of the characters in this play might put it. Apples is director John Rettalack’s adaptation of Richard Millward’s novel, written when he was twenty, a fresh, raw take on growing up in Britain today. Set in Middlesborough but reeking with the energy, optimism and naiveté of fifteen year olds across the country, Apples tells it pretty much as it may well be.

Twenty-one short scenes take us through the lives of six not-yet-sixteen-somethings, their experimentation with drugs, introductions to sex, and slow comings-to-terms with the drama of growing up. There are a few searing and shocking moments along the way, but Apples is imbued with a sense that these kids are ultimately going to be pretty much okay.

For some, however, it can look somewhat touch and go, as we move through vomiting up the alcohol and drugs ingested, being raped while insensible, underage pregnancy and the experience of being battered and bottled on the dance floor.

Life in the raw is seldom mild, this reviewer’s granny observed, and that’s certainly the case for the Adam and Eve of this show, for whom Apples is another name for Ecstasy and experience usually dearly bought. The cast craft our sympathy for these lost youngsters with skill and spot-on characterisation; even in their cups and crassness we’re never allowed to lose sight of their humanity. The result is a wee gem of a show; sharp, sassy and always in your face.

Show times
10-28 August, 4pm

Ticket prices
£17-£19 (£6 unemployed, £12-£13)