Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Exit Salford - Steel Productions, 24/7 Festival Manchester

Exit Salford
Written by Ed Jones

Director: Martha Simon
Reviewer: Lisa Whiteside

‘Exit Salford’ written by Ed Jones is based upon a true story about a young writer, Luke, who moves to Salford only to discover the usual rules of the world really don’t apply within this very close knit and largely segregated community. As Luke’s story develops, he begins to forge friendships with some of the local disengaged youths and we begin to see such relationships take a startling turn for the worst.

This is a piece that is generally well performed, well written and well directed and one to recommend. One of the greatest strengths of this piece is that although it is topical and raises many issues of today it isn’t in any way preachy or self righteous in its delivery.

With an interesting use of direction that was quite stylistic in its use of props this piece strikes a good balance of both current issues and entertainment. I would argue its greatest strength is within Luke’s brief encounters with his very different neighbours, one of my favourite lines being ‘Just eat the bacon then!’.

If I was to pick this play to pieces I would argue that on occasions Luke’s narration could be slightly long winded and the relationship between him and his French girlfriend didn’t seem entirely necessary to the piece as a whole. However, out of the many plays I did see that day I would say that this was undoubtedly my favourite. The combination of such competent writing and direction clearly illustrated to me that that this piece could go far with further development.

‘Exit Salford’ is definitely one to pop along and see if you want gritty real life issues, an inventive and stylistic approach to performance with several laughs thrown in to satisfy the needs of a wide variety of audience members!
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