Random (play by Debbie Tucker)

I wrote this theatre review during my Journalism MA at London College of Communication for the Arts London. Random was televised recently – reminding me of its brilliance.

In the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre market stalls are shutting down and cafés are wiping away the remnants of today’s business. It feels like time for everyone to go home. But the Royal Court Theatre is just opening its doors in Unit 215.

Debbie Tucker’s play Random is staged in the empty unit — devoid of set or props with just a few comfy sofas and lines of chairs arranged around a square of carpet acting as stage.

Seroca Davis bowls into the shop and bursts into an unexpectedly poetic monologue – that of a teenage boy.

She then switches to the boy’s sister and manages, with the narrowing of her eyes, a tilt of the head and a change in accent, to believably converse between the two of them.

Next she takes us downstairs to the kitchen and we meet their mother. Each character is so powerfully executed that the audience remain immersed in this tale of ‘a day in the life’.

The comical lilt that Davis opens with then begins to droop as the family are told some awful news.

Contemplating the severity of teenage violence, Sacha Wares has directed this 50 minute series of monologues to take us on a journey – one that leave us drained, but undeniably entertained.

It’s too easy to de-personalise the tragic news stories that we read of the individuals and families who have been affected by knife crime.

We need more plays like this to remind us of the devastation it causes. And of the fact that it can happen to any one. At any time.

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