The Static at Riverside Studios
The Static, written by Davey Anderson and both directed and choreographed by Neil Bettles, is a compelling story of a young adolescent male coming of age. A dark play, its unusual story and captivating movement make for a fast paced mesmerising experience. The Static is the follow up to ThickSkin’s award-winning début of Blackout and is doing just as well. Having launched at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012, The Static has been touring the UK and October 19th saw its London performance at Riverside Studios.
ThickSkin is a relatively young theatre company dedicated to discovering and developing new talents and giving them the opportunities to shine. Founded by Neil Bettles and Laura Sutton, the company has gone from strength to strength and The Static is no exception. A symphony of innovation and fresh new acting, the play is a breath of fresh air and utilises stunning acting performances, dance and impressive visuals.
The play moves very fast, which is refreshing and keeps the audience completely riveted throughout. A coming of age romance story about a 15-year-old boy can often seem an all too predictable plot, The Static however, approaches its tale with originality, twists and exciting revelations from start to finish. The play opens by addressing the audience, an introduction that references the dark underlying themes of the power of our own thoughts however this quickly moves onto a light-hearted and humorous depiction of teenage school boys. The characters are familiar, we have all met them in reality and the quality of the acting depicting these characters is superbly believable. We meet Sparky, a hyperactive boy that wants nothing more than to get out of school so he won’t have to sit still. Siouxsie, his love interest, is dark and morbid, crass and cool. Mrs Kelly is their neurotic teacher and Mr Murphy, another teacher, is Siouxsie’s step-father. The story unravels to reveal complex connections between all of the characters perfectly offset by the narrative sections of performance which easily slip into the flow of the play.
Sparky develops the ability to control things with his mind after interactions with Siouxsie who we are told has possessed these powers for many years. His deepest thoughts and desires begin to come true, until jealously turns his thoughts to a disturbing place and his only chance of restoring order is to have his first kiss. The story is realistic in characters, relatable in thought and exciting to view. The quality of actors, Brian Vernel, Samantha Foley, Pauline Lockhart and Nick Rhys is phenomenal, they even managed to stay in character when technical issues were taking place, not an easy feat. Throughout, the play addresses our inner thoughts in interesting and humorous ways which make the performance both heartwarming and hilarious. The music and lighting compliment perfectly and thus the show deserves all the attention and accolades it is receiving.
Showing at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith on the 19th and 20th October before moving onto Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham where it will complete its tour the show is a true work of genius. Absolutely magical and stunning with phenomenal originality and quality of performance.
The Static is at Riverside Studios on 19th and 20th October 2012 before touring Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. For further information or to book visit ThickSkin’s website here.
Watch the trailer for The Static here: