Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: The State of Concrete, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Mansfield.
On A council estate, a young woman reads Jim Cartwright’s Road and asks how much has changed in the 30 years since the play was written. This play by Francesca Leone, performed by students from the University of Leicester, is a kind of answer in the form of a multi-faceted snapshot of life on an estate today.
Some of the scenarios depicted here are stereotypical: the ten-year-old skipping school to work as a drug mule; the prostitute’s son who discovers a gift for music, only to find it all but beaten out of him by his peers. By focusing on a group of young people studying for their GCSEs, Leone asks whether it is possible to move away, imagine a different future.
There are places where both writing and acting could be tighter, but The State of Concrete does make some timely observations: the fact that this working-class estate exists under the gaze of the posh new flats across the road, for whom the residents provide a kind of entertainment and the sense that, of all the things which trap people, one of the biggest might be their own expectations.
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall (Venue 53)
Published in The Scotsman on 22 August 2015
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