City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

What Next? / What Now?, Traverse Theatre, Review

By Bill Dunlop - Posted on 11 June 2016

Show Details
Traverse Theatre
Strange Town
Alan Gordon (writer), Debs Hahn (director, 'What Next?') , Amy Watt (director, 'What Now?), Maria MacDonald (lighting design)
'What Next?'- Ewan Burns (Sparky), Marcus Calderon (Nathan), Susie Chilver (Natasha), Andrew Chrumka (Nick), Harry Crowe (Damian), Thomas Erskine (Charlie), Lola Greive (Claire), Ella Harrison (Molly), Holly Hayward (Leah), Mairi Hutchison (Amy), Fraser Kelsey (Billy), Donald Laing (Jamie), Charlie Long (Mikey), Morven Mackay (Alice), Abigail McDonald (Stacey), Lucas McGregor (Ziggy), Ross MacMillan (Blair), Maeve McIntyre (Maz), Beatrice McMillan (Bella), Ruaridh Mollica (Henry), Caitlin Munn (Regan), Alexander Palko (Craig), Ben Petrie (Daniel), Joe Riddell (Liam), Oscar Sinicki (Josh), Molly Upward (Mandy), Layza Venancio Mirhadi (Daisy) 'What Now?' - Jack Chalmers (Liam), Tom Chaney (Tim That Doesn't Talk / Vlad / Hamish), Miles Collins (Ben), Ramona Crumlish (Aida), Cameron Douglas (local guy), Lucie Duffy (Francesca) Rosella Elphinstone (Kendall), Kyle Fitzpatrick (Max), Archie Fisher (Rhys), Ciara Flanagan (Gethin / Kitty Punk 1) Alisha Gashi (Joanne), Isis Hainsworth (Siobhan / Svetlana), Rachel Heller (Sarah), Esme Hutchinson (Stephanie / Kitty Punk 3), Sebastian Palko (Darren), Maya Priestley (Viv), Morgan Ritch (Lucy), Michael Robertson (Freddie), Mia Scott (local girl / Kitty Punk 4), Eve Whiston (Georgia / Kitty Punk 2),
Running time: 

‘What Next?’ and What Now?’ make up a double bill presented by Strange Town, which works with young people in Edinburgh to develop and present theatre which reflects their concerns and interests.

Although each piece stands alone, the themes of both intertwine in interesting and thought-provoking ways.

While the subject matter of ‘What Next?’ is the impact of an intake of pupils from a closing school into another and the ways in both groups react and interact, unstated parallels with current refugee and migrant crises are never far from our thoughts.

Despite its serious intent, there’s also an engaging sense of fun and occasional irony the twenty-seven strong cast communicates fully.

Equally thoughtful is its companion piece, ‘What Now?’ which sends another twenty young actors on a roller coaster of a tour of Europe. Taking a remarkably clear-eyed view of gender and sexuality, what emerges, again by implication, is that these differences may in many ways be the least interesting aspect of any of us.

The energy and commitment of both casts is clear and it’s especially encouraging that each has had a great deal of input into the shaping of both plays.

Which, of course, is very much in line with the ethos of Strange Town, a company that engages with large numbers of young people across Edinburgh and seeks to involve them in theatre as a means of both self-expression and personal development.

As well as this, of course, there is the satisfaction to be gained from working with others toward a common goal, that in the case of these two plays shows young people engaging with contemporary issues and offering their own very clear views on these.

10-11 June, 2016