A play aimed at teenagers exploring the social pecking order of high school through the experiences of three ‘losers’ at a school social would not usually send me running to the box office but School Dance has a lot more to offer. Set in the 80s with many a cultural reference and filtered through the John Hughes rites of passage sensibilities, Windmill Theatre’s Festival offering provides nostalgia, laughs a plenty and some extraordinary dance moves!
The plot follows our geek hero Matt (writer Matthew Whittet) from the High School dance into the metaphorical land of the invisible and with the help of his athletically challenged friends, back again. A slightly strange storyline unlikely to be found in a John Hughes classic but it is held together by wonderfully creative production, a great soundtrack and an engaging cast. Amber McMahon gave a brilliant comic performance in all the female roles, Jonathon Oxlade and Luke Smiles also make very convincing teenagers. School Dance deals with some real issues but thankfully the focus is on entertainment. The play blends surreal moments, pitch-perfect 80s American cheese with a buddy story moral to great affect.
It is a brave aim to produce a play aimed at teenagers, an audience group notorious for being strangers to the theatre, but this production should attract any child of the 80s or fan of comedy theatre. A real treat for Festival goers who have ever or are currently living the teenage experience.
Kryztoff Rating 4K
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