Me Too! review: An artfully told tale of boyhood friendship

The play uses a physical language to communicate with a young audience

Venue: Civic Theatre

Date Reviewed: November 8th, 2015

Website: civictheatre.ie

Phone: 22

Tue, Nov 17, 2015, 17:59

   

***

 

There is an artful simplicity to this a tale of first friendships ignited at school. Alf and B are two boys who have ended up in the same place (school), although they do not speak each other’s language.

After a silent game of peekaboo, Alf offers a handshake but he settles for a wave, and the duo bond over autumn leaves and improvised ramps. Who needs words when you have the wind whipping at your heels as you skirt across the playground?

The play, written by Sarah Argent, uses a physical language to communicate with a young audience. Rice cakes and breadsticks become props for the boys as they test the boundaries of their burgeoning friendship. Long stretches of silence allow school-age spectators to impose their own narrative on the action. Here, the children take advantage in a joyfully vocal way.

Miriam Duffy finds variation in the uniform outfits of the two boys, underscoring the subtle differences they explore as they get to know each other. Oisín Robbins and Aidan Crowe do not patronise in their embodiment of the boys, and Jack Cawley’s original sound design helps emphasise their emotional state as they negotiate the rules of the schoolyard.

Me Too! crucially leaves plenty of room for parents and teachers to build upon the themes of friendship and new experiences, and here Barnstorm offers the type of theatrical experience that excels as a teaching tool. There is nothing like finding a kindred spirit – the echo of “me too!” – to comfort you in moments of uncertainty.

At The Barn Theatre, Kilkenny, until November 21st

 

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