Jubilee, Lyric Hammersmith | Review

Lyric Hammersmith 
Reviewed on Wednesday 21st February 2018 by Shaun Dicks

Real but unreal. Fearless, provocative and unapologetic. These are the words I choose to describe the Royal Exchange Theatre transfer of Jubilee. In the world of theatre where everything is imitation, this was stone cold reality. This show is a story of gender and sexual fluidity, the punk movement and the state of society. This story follows a group of punk, free spirits led by Travis Alabanza as Amyl Nitrate; it follows them as they tackle social and political issues like race, gender, sexuality and politics. 

Chris Goode’s script that was adapted from Derek Jarman and James Whaley’s original screenplay is well crafted. The dialogue between characters was realistic and the multiple monologues were insightful, passionate and is fuelled by a generation’s angst. The delivery of this powerful script was paramount, and this energetic cast rose to the occasion. There was no particular weak link in this young cast, but Amyl Nitrate portrayed by Travis Alabanza was the stand out. This didn’t feel like a character but an extension of Alabanza; there was a passion in the way they spoke that made it real. The words didn’t feel scripted for them, it was like a protest on the streets.

Despite all the shows positives, the one downside was that with the anarchic style that is synonymous with the punk movement, there was a few sloppy moments within the show that hurt the pacing a little bit. 

What I truly loved about this show, and is a major selling point for it, is the Political Incorrectness. The willingness to say things that others – in a world of political correctness and censorship – wouldn’t say, was bold. The breaking down of British history, full frontal nudity and extreme opinions was refreshing. It was sex and anarchy at its finest. The world would be a better place if we had the room to express like Jubilee did. The honesty and severity of this piece is its crowning glory. I highly recommend Jubilee.

Jubilee runs at the Lyric Hammersmith until March 10th 2018. 

Photo credit: Johan Persson

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