Groan Ups - Review
Having enjoyed their previous productions we were excited to find The Mischief Theatre company were presenting a new show and quickly snapped up tickets for Groan Ups.
The story centres around 5 people looking at their friendships and relationships across 3 time periods. We first meet them in the second year of primary school – when the five of them present a school assembly describing they did at the weekend. We then move on being in year 9 (aged 13/14) and then the second act takes us to their school reunion years later. There is also a loose plot that runs through the play with a couple of more serious moments. But it’s real strength is in the script.
The same people play these characters at every age which paves the way for plenty of hilarity which the company take full use of. In the first act they make full use of the opportunities afforded from adults playing children, including many you might not have expected. Particularly memorable is the innocent description of a parents secret sex life by one of the year two characters.
Year 9 part is like going back to a time looking in with the knowledge you wish you’d had then. And it certainly plays on the way people think they have everything figured out.
Particularly impressive is the way the actors maintain the same basic character traits but are able to develop these as the characters age through the show. It looks at how we change but also the ways in which we stay the same as we "grow up". At the production we saw Krystal Dockery was on for Moon. We always get excited to see understudies as they bring their own take on a role and Krystal did an amazing job portraying this character.
The set is incredibly clever and hilarious at the same time. Within each time period the set aligns to their relative size. So we start with chairs that are almost bigger than they are and a door where they can barely reach the handle.
I don’t want to use a cliché such as “I laughed until my cheeks hurt”. Mainly because my cheeks did hurt but I continued laughing. The only problem was at times I couldn’t hear the cast over the laughter that filled the theatre.
For a talented cast and script that keeps the laughs going this gets four Laura Michelle-Kelly stars. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.nimaxtheatres.com/shows/groan-ups/