Firebird at Trafalgar StudiosCultureTheatre
Mature subject matter is always hard to portray artistically on stage, but Edward Hall’s production of Firebird, handles this with absolute ease. Previously running to a sold-out audience at the Hampstead Theatre, this powerful and compelling story travels from the beginning of a young and naive girl’s life that is turned upside down due to those who take advantage of the innocent. Packed with powerhouse performances, with a gripping storyline, this show is highly recommended.
The production recounts the story of a young girl named Tia (Callie Cooke), an outspoken and eccentric character who one night stumbles into a kebab shop. There she meets a seemingly charming man named AJ, played by Phadlut Sharma. While the conversation seems to be normal, his intentions soon become quite clear to the audience. After being lured into his trap, Tia is forced to face emotionally scarring abuse from him and his friends. Intermixed with this is her turbulent relationship with her best friend, Katie, played by Tahirah Sharif, who may or may not be the one that can get Tia out of this mess. With heartfelt emotion, whether it was in their body language or line delivery, this play truly makes an impact on its audience.
From the set to the music, everything blends amazingly together to create a rough and unearthly atmosphere, which enhances the subject matter. The venue,Trafalgar Studios, adds interest as the audience is dispersed around the stage, making the performance much more intimate – as if the viewer is part of the story. The lighting is impeccable and manages to set the perfect mood for any scene, whether a positive interaction between friends or a negative scene showcasing pain. All three performances by the leads are stunning; Cooke is particularly notable in an amazing, emotionally open performance. If there is anything to pick at, the bass-heavy transitional techno music was perhaps out of place.
Phil Davies’ debut script raises awareness about the exploitation of young people and truly makes an impact in the mind of every single theatregoer. The pace, performance and setting of Firebird are outstanding. A definite must-see.
Photo: Robert Day
Firebird is on at Trafalgar Studios from 17th February until 19th March 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch a trailer for Firebird here: