Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Multi-award winning verbatim theatre company LUNG bring their searing new show Who Cares? To Summerhall Edinburgh fringe program and boy, is it great.
From the minute you walk into Summerhall’s beautiful Main Hall nostalgia hits. The ugly industrial blue school lockers line the back of the stage, the world's most uncomfortable cheap plastic chairs that populate classrooms up and down the country are neatly stacked to one side and a pop filled underscore that would rival that of any noughties disco night at your local pub.
We meet three young people from Salford, all of whom you could be forgiven for initially thinking are stereotypes of working class teenagers found in Britain’s schools. You have the shy gamer (Luke Grant) totally enthralled by his portable gaming device alongside the oddly quiet girl (Lizzie Mounter) clutching her books close to her chest joined by the brasher bubblegum popping party girl (Lizzie Mounter) but what happens when the lines between adolescence and parenthood become blurred? A question LUNG endeavour to explore.
Through a series of perfectly executed intertwining and overlapping monologues of depression, disability and suicide, we delve deeper into the home life of the three kids, who expertly slide around Jen McGinley’s set. The direction is as to be expected with LUNG - slick well-choreographed movement sequences that blend the series of direct addresses perfectly and poignantly.
LUNG have created a genre defining show in Who Cares? A scathing attack on Tory Britain with a razor sharp analysis of the impact that austerity has on young carers in Britain. What ultimately makes it so gripping is in its quietness. In the brief moments of silence you find yourself remembering that what you are seeing are real life testimonies by young carers in Salford. Without revealing too much in the way of plot, one scene involving the three students parents absolutely broke my heart; and it is utterly shattering. LUNG won a coveted Fringe First last year and I wouldn’t be surprised if they repeated the same well-deserved feat this year.
Who Cares? Is on at Summerhall - Main Hall at 18:20, until August the 25th. Tickets available here - https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=%22Who%20Cares%22