The story of impoverished, bullied schoolboy Billy finding a glimmer of hope in a Kestrel he adopts and trains has been a success for both author Barry Hines and filmmaker Ken Loach. Verbal and grimly emotional, it’s a challenging text to attempt to stage, and Beacon Theatre should be praised for their ambition. The cast, most of whom are extremely young, show admirable focus, and their constant background banter gives the performance some much needed texture. However, while there are promising actors amongst them, there’s a general lack of either inspiration or commitment, and the play would have been significantly improved by tighter editing and cleaner direction. Feeling unfinished and under rehearsed, this show never takes off like it should.
Paradise in Augustine’s, 21-27 Aug, 2.45pm.
tw rating 2/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]