Theatre review: Sandpits Avenue and League of St George at The Hope Theatre

sandpits avenue
actors: Adam Colborne and Nathalie Wain

sandpits avenue actors: Adam Colborne and Nathalie Wain - Credit: Archant

Thought-provoking plays launch pub theatre

On Fireworks night 2013 an explosion of energy hit the Hope and Anchor Pub in Islington. A new Theatre ‘The Hope ’ began a run of brand new plays beginning with ‘Sandpits Avenue’ and ‘League of St George’

The first play ‘Sandpits Avenue’ is set in a village in the West of England and it is an exploration of young peoples’ thoughts and feelings during the Afghan conflict. The tale is told in verse interspersed with music and singing and in no particular chronological order - difficult to follow until you realise it is not going a conventional route! But it is affecting because of and in spite of its quirkiness. Hatty, played by author Nathalie Wain, is bored with life in the village and wants to escape not only from Sandpits but from her soldier fiancée Tim, preferring the company of her best friend and secret lover, Kit. Tim is the brother of her friend Abby who also has a boyfriend in Afghanistan. It is through his eyes that we see much of the action and he vitally expresses the pain and anger at the helplessness of human beings in this situation. It is directed by Dominic Garfield

The second play is set in the Punk era and is a hilarious and frightening satire of the time. Georgia Bliss has set her play in short scenes separated by a punk band played at full blast by the actors. The play explores the lack of parental understanding towards the young gay hero, Adam played by Oliver Tunstall and, very frighteningly, the behaviour of the ‘League of St George’ towards immigrants. It shows up the sheep like attitude of young men who foll0w the main antagonist – described as a ‘good fighter’ and is the aggressive front man of the punk band. Directed by Shebanah Razvand.

The new theatre space – near Highbury and Islington station is basically a room above a pub with two rows of seats on three sides. But it is a warm and welcoming venue with tremendously exciting productions brimming over with brilliant youthful talent.

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Until November 30

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