Our friends Cardboard Citizens came in tonight with their hostel tour trilogy Led Easy, which has been on the road for a couple of weeks. My mate Jo Allit, who I went to Uni with many moons ago, was in the company, which was a lovely surprise. She was a top actor then and really hasn't lost it in the interim. Not much changes.
This was a return visit following successful shows here last year, which although very good, didn't quite hold together as well as tonight's brilliantly written offerings. As last year Joker Terry skillfully took us through three stories - one about a black teenager growing up in a Hackney estate, the second about a young graduate from a well off family with big dreams and a desire to change the world and finally a single Mum recently released from prison trying to reconnect with her daughter. She asked us to vote for the one we'd like to forum further.
Interestingly the audience plumped for Leonardo's story. A young artist, trying to justify his passion for drawing, painting and tagging, against the indifference of his parents and the peer pressure of the other young men in his hood.
An hour later after over twenty different interventions the evening finally came to and end, but not before the students had given the actors a brilliant run out. At times it was a real battle of ideas, strategies and prompts as slowly all of us tuned into the situation and began to explore Leo's options and choices.
Over a well deserved pint in the Union afterwards the company were really impressed with the quality of the challenges and by the enthusiasm of the audience. I was too, particularly as many of them stayed around afterwards asking questions and finding out more about the courses and work that Cardboard Citizens offer. It was great watching Jo sharing these conversations and remembering a time twenty years ago when we ourselves were hungrily sponging knowledge and advice from visiting companies, post-show in the Union bar.