First seen at Ovalhouse in 2011 before he had a big hit with Misty, Arinze Kene’s story about three inner city teenagers gets its first major revival in a production by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, winner of the 2019 JMK Award. Taking the form of intercut monologues that curl around each other, this is a show that revels in a language that fizzes and froths. It has real swagger as it discusses about how standing up makes you stand out – and the risks and rewards that are associated in a tough environment. I suspect that Kene knows his theatre history because there are shades of Edward Bond’s Saved, but Kene’s coming of age stories are distinctively contemporary.
Joanne is dipped in rudeness, rolled in attitude and is fighting to keep her life afloat. Sensitive and mature he may be, yet Kehinde struggles with an obsession for mixed race girls as he eyes his place on the social ladder. Rugrat, classclown and playground loudmouth, just wants to make it past GCSEs and keep their name on the tip of your tongue. As their lives collide and intertwine, three extraordinary young people relay the moments they ‘grew up’. Three remarkable stories. Three incredible journeys.