Enough Said at the Arcola Tent
Generation Arts run The Future Stage Project which is a free seven-month opportunity to train in theatre-making and acting for aspiring young actors who are not in education, employment or training and are classed as being “at risk”. They offer an alternative to college and provide flexible, yet structured support for the development of these young people.
Enough Said is this year’s piece which predominantly explores loneliness in London, an immediately relatable, exposing and intelligent theme. The characters are all introduced separately but eventually the stories come together and intertwine in a clever and thoughtful way. There are moments of physical engagement, most prominently a musically supported hugging scene which is emotionally strong, delicate and poignant. It involves the ensemble embracing each other after the characters have individually expressed a sense of being alone and their lives unguided – it is timed very well.
Moronkeji (who plays Katriena) is a beautifully comic actress; her television coma over a packet of crisps and her Facebook status update are little scene-stealers. Charlie Clay’s George desperately just wants to read his book but is forever interrupted by his fellow cast members who only want to talk. Clay’s subtle responses and active listening are endearing and charming – he shines. The moment in which Corey (played by Ace Kentuke) is seen alone rehearsing the break-up with his girlfriend is comical, yet heartbreaking – he is a presence on stage that shows much promise.
Ultimately, the back stories of all these young performers are difficult ones. Their individual journeys have led to their involvement with The Future Stage Project, a light at the end of some very dark tunnels. The production has moments of static energy and some uncomfortable devised writing but the energy of the ensemble is endearing, charged and enthralling to watch. Their respect for one another and professionalism is a credit to the course and their developed attitudes. These young people have created art, told a story particularly relevant to their audience and developed their means of expression and communication while taking challenging steps towards their future. The project is an astounding achievement and so important that it needs to be celebrated; the Arcola Tent is the perfect venue. A very satisfying evening.
Enough Said is at The Arcola Tent until Saturday 13th July 2013. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
To find out more about Generation Arts and their courses visit here.