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By Ian Winterton

Shred Productions

The Lowry, 17 January 2012


Hypocrisy lies at the heart of every community, even a school.

That’s the girder running through and holding up Ian Winterton’s complex, multi-layered drama.  The main character is Katie (Ruth Middleton), a prostitute whose clients include a pupil and a teacher both.  Her sister Natalie (Nicola Stebbings) is a pupil at the school also.  She lives with the belief – and finds it truly mortifying – that her sister acually works at McDonald’s.

One grand strength of the play is the way in which the various characters’ lives intermesh, giving you a convincing sense of an authentic network of vital human relationships.  There were good performances all around, with David Slack’s performance as Pope standing out as the pick for me.  Pope, a senior teacher, was in many respects the most sympathetic character.  He seemed like an old stick in the mud, and even a figure of fun, but he turned out to be one of those salt of the earth guys.  In the end, he came good.

There have been a fair few school-set plays in recent years (Mogadishu, Punk Rock, Monster to name but three).  It was clear, despite the sparse set, that this fine work was as good as any of them.

Sherica is playing again on Saturday, details here.

For details of other plays in the re: play Festival – there are three showing tonight – click here.