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Theatre Review: Five Years

11 October 17 words: Fran Bonner

A story of coming of age in the 90s raises the curtain on the Playground festival.

Five Years, a one-man autobiographical performance, which maps out over a period of time, the growing pains, adversity, hilarity and perseverance of a human spirit.

Bringing together poetry, narrative prose and improvisation, the narrator (Neal Pike) takes the audience through an account of life at a special needs school in Nottinghamshire in the 90s.

This work in progress was both impressive and thought provoking. The fluid style of narration and creativity of language portrayed a young man who has experienced more than anyone should, but one whose grasp on the power of words and understanding of creative thought and writing, was apparent throughout.

The exploration of youth, friendship, sexuality and loss will resonate with most as experiences we all have to come to terms with, as we grow up and grow older. However, the honesty of this from the viewpoint of someone who, due to circumstance and societal labels, gives a voice to those who do not always have the words to express themselves.

Five Years is the start of a longer piece of theatre, which is currently in progress. It was performed as part of Nottingham Playhouse's Playground festival on Tuesday 3 October 2017.

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