Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 14 Oct
We live in a world of constructed realities. So-called reality TV shows flood our screens promising an insight into everyday life, airbrushed ‘beauties’ gaze at us from the pages of glossy magazines. Swamped by the media, society loses sight of the truth, a phenomenon that impacts on the lives of the teenagers in David Greig’s new play.
A chance meeting at a 24hr superstore of unlikely couple Silent Leila (Nalini Chetty) and Stag Lee Macalinden (Andrew Scott-Ramsay) leads to a murder and sees the pair on the run, heading for the Highlands and a voyage of discovery.
Commissioned by TAG for a teen audience and destined for a school tour, the play tackles issues they face growing up in today’s society. Obsessions with celebrity ideals and the effect they have on teen body image are highlighted and questioned when Leila comes face to face with her idol, only to discover they are both fraught with similar insecurities. Constantly confronted with the hyper real on the pages of the magazines she loves, Leila self harms to somehow find the heightened reality she craves. This blurring of reality allows many of the characters to reinvent themselves, hiding behind a projected image of the person they want to be, it also allows others to shape them, labelling them with nicknames that define only their exteriority. Director Guy Hollands explores strong themes with interesting techniques and there are sound performances from Keith MacPherson and Beth Marshall, particularly in the roles of narrators. Gritty reality but not as you know it.