About a Revolution – Windmill Young Actors. The Warren, 17 May.
These bright young actors took on a challenging topic with verve and aplomb as they embarked on a revolutionary tour of 1917, 2017, and everything in between. The sincerity of anger at a political climate in which insecure housing and food poverty have become the norm was starkly evident in the script.
Frustration at ineffective social-media-moral-outrage was captured beautifully through moments of physical theatre, including what I can only describe as a “scroll mentality montage” – likes, faux earnest anger, and wow faces against a backdrop of real political commentary on the tragi-criminal events that led to Grenfell Tower.
The actors all slipped skillfully, if not seamlessly (there were some unfortunate mic moments to overcome) between different roles – crossing time, age, gender and political inclination. But the highlight for me was the moment we were asked to vote on the execution of 2017 landlord by anachronistic revolutionary forces who had pierced the veil of time. My two pre-teen companions shot up their hands without hesitation – and who can blame them? In my son’s short life he’s experienced evictions and rent increases across a multitude of different properties in Brighton. And that was one of the most endearing features of this brave performance – the children came out of it with something to say.
Although the leap from the fervour of the October revolution to local teen troubles could occasionally be jarring, the piece had heart, soul and an optimism that leaves me confident these young people have what it takes to inspire and effect real social change.