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Punk Rock play packs a punch and then some

News overview

The latest production to come out of Suffolk New College will stay with you from Dusk Till Dawn.

Alex Leek, Hannah Burman and Louis Hobbs

Their version of Punk Rock by Simon Stephens was staggering.

Someone asked me what it was like and in a nod to Tarantino – I just said it had elements of the shoot-out scene from Reservoir Dogs and includes a True Romance that ends in tears.

Set in Stockport, even before the show starts you can feel something in the air as the audience holding music is Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve.

The cast performing Punk Rock at Suffolk New College

I’m not sure if I was feeling bittersweet emotionally at the end of this play or not – but I was certainly impacted strongly by what I had witnessed.

The plot begins quite normally as a group of sixth formers sit around chatting ahead of their mock examinations.

Then slowly but surely, the main characters start to reveal their identities.

There is a bully, a nerd, a popular girl, the boy that everyone fancies and the one that nobody can work out.

Louis Hobbs and Hannah Burman

You could be watching an episode of Grange Hill – but would I ‘just say no’ or ‘just say yes’ to this production?

In classic Simon Cowell lingo – it’s a big yes from me. The show was sensational.

It had big issues, an edgy soundtrack, anger, frustration, sadness, humour and a plot twist that was one of the most hard-hitting things I have ever seen in a theatre.

Louis Hobbs playing William Carlisle

The two main protagonists (William and Lilly) grew in presence and power throughout. William played by Louis Hobbs seemed to be channelling Joaquin Phoenix in The Joker and Lilly played by Hannah Burman had more sides to her than a Rubix cube.

Other nods go to Kaitylyn Geraghty as Bennett who showed genuine menace and Lily-May Wilson gave light to a very dark production.

Direction was assured by Ashley Harris and it was brave of him to take on subject matter that is not for the faint hearted.

More efforts like this from the cast and crew and they can name their price as their time in Hollywood will be upon them.

By John Nice

Posted 25 April 2024