Abandon – Lyric Hammersmith Until 30th June

★★★

Team Review by Lucrezia Pollice

 A group of 12 young people aged 16 – 25 joined a year acting training programme at the Lyric Hammersmith, and Abandon is their final showcase. Abandon literally takes you into their life, into the rehearsal room to observe what happens, when no one else is there to see. You feel a little bit like a fly on the wall, observing excerpts of real conversations from within, these have been carefully put together by the creative team. The culmination of this course demonstrates the quality of the training as the acting within the piece is outstanding from all of the actors.

What does being a young person in London mean? What is adult hood? After A levels, what if uni isn’t for me, what is one then supposed to do? Why do the same people always enter into Oxbridge and the same people are left alone..? What if I don’t fit in?

L-R, Nkhanise Phiri and Tiwalade Ibirogba-Olulode. Photo – Dan Patrick Hipkin

Particularly if you are a person in the arts, many of the scenarios will be familiar and this show rings true, real and funny. The diversity in the room and the social commentary is humorous, but manages to make a point about many topics which affect everyone in London, and are very topical and interesting. There is definitely this sense of wanting more, wanting to do better, be better, but somehow feeling lost, alone and abandoned.

L-R, Brandon Grace, Ella Stokes and Shakeel Haakim. Photo – Dan Patrick Hipkin

Although a brilliant piece, there are repetitive blackouts, which could be halved, as they are frustrating for the audience. Additionally, whilst the scenes are engaging and funny, they often feel too short – we hunger for more. Want to know what it is like in an acting rehearsal room? For people who are not from the arts or theatre world, this piece will provide an insightful experience. It will immerse you completely, into why theatre for young people is a great place to discover who one is, and gain confidence to face the world.

On at The Lyric Hammersmith until 30th June tickets are just £10 for this 60 minute piece. You can book tickets here https://lyric.co.uk/shows/abandon-lyric-ensemble/

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