Slings and Arrows

Raised Voices Drama Group

The Raised Voices drama group doesn’t shy away from tackling serious issues which many of us will face in our lives.

We watch as the main character Jackie, brilliantly played by Katie Greenie, looks back on her life whilst sifting through a memory box of diaries and letters. Recalling her 1980s school years against a background of domestic violence and an alcoholic mother, Jackie recalls being subjected to sexual abuse by a fellow pupil and how her dyslexia wasn’t diagnosed.

We follow Jackie’s life story which is pitted with life events and trauma, all of which any one of us could face, including homelessness, drug addiction and mental health issues.

As her life spirals out of control into petty crime and a criminal conviction, we hear Jackie’s narrative, not only first hand, via her own recollections, but also through the excellent dialogue between two of her old friends, Michael and Dave, played by Colin Brown and Matthew Power.

The fine casting throughout this production is exemplified in Michael and Dave’s exchanges, which lighten what could be quite heavy material at times. Their jokey banter expresses concern for the welfare of their friend, whilst providing humorous moments throughout the performance.

This is not a dark story of the pitfalls Jackie faces in her life, though it does cover a wide range of issues which often don’t get the oxygen of publicity or significant coverage in the arts: hidden disability, unsafe sexual relationships, the criminal justice system and mental health challenges are topics addressed in sometimes raw detail. The power of friendship is a strong theme throughout and the play is ultimately an uplifting one.

This is an inspiring production which like the last, much praised Fringe production by this group in 2019, ‘Raised Voices – Real Lives,’ is a powerful and moving story of redemption. Smart and witty, it has heart and imparts a serious message about life events which could happen to anyone.

It is worth noting that while all the characters are fictional, the events they experience are not and have been experienced by members of the cast.

‘Slings and Arrows’ is directed by Archie Gray and written by Archie Gray Blair Christie and members of Raised Voices.

Running every evening at 8pm at the space@Surgeons Hall – Bevan Theatre until Saturday 28th August.

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