Review: Revolution as rich kids turn back to war

Show 6 by Mark Ravenhill

The Secret Theatre Company, November (various dates)

The basic premise is simple: recently – say a generation ago – there was a revolution. It was a proletarian revolution, and the old order was swept away.

The haves lost what they had. Their children were given to new parents who told them stories about the past that covered over the revolution. Soon, everyone was telling stories.

Only drugs became real. And the favela, where an almost fatal accident occurred.

A rich kid slammed into a poor man. But this time something gets through to the kid, touches him where it hurts. He begins to ask questions.

Who is he? Who are his parents? But there are no answers any more. The collective memory of what happened has been erased, replaced by stories. And by drugs. There are many things to be said, but none of it joins up, none of it makes sense.

Even the sentences people speak are broken, disjointed. When the generation of disinherited kids decide to have a revolution of their own it isn’t clear what they’re fighting for.

And so the rich kid goes back to the favela. Mark Ravenhill’s plays are shocking, provocative, and exciting. This one, performed in the round by three actors, dressed mostly in swimming costumes, is no exception.

Like watching clouds form and disperse, scenes morph into each other, but somehow it all makes a kind of sense.

It’s edgy, electric, exciting, and great theatre.

Rating 8/10

By Nick Le Mesurier