My experience of ‘Journey to X’ by Nancy Harris started in the dress rehearsals. Although the cast are all around 16 and 17 they slip into their younger roles very easily whilst maintaining a professional attitude, unless someone gets the giggles obviously. The honest bond and camaraderie between the teens shows through when they begin rehearsals and they flow through the script despite a few little hiccups in a way that makes me excited to see it all again a few hours later.
|Journey to X. Photo: Simon Annand|
Despite some opposition to the subject matter in their home town, MorePies Productions made it to the National. All the rehearsals were done and after some pretty hilarious vocal warm ups (read: pretending to be a hoover) it was finally show time for ‘Journey to X’ at the National Theatre.
The simplistic set means that it is the plot and dialogue that make an impact on the audience without any visual distractions. The play manages to be funny despite its subject matter and the cast as a whole pulls off a performance worthy of people twice their age. The dialogue is raw and believable without falling into the traps of being stereotypically adolescent which makes the production feel true to life and impossible not to emotionally invest in.
|Journey to X, Photo: Simon Annand|
It is very easy to forget that these actors are young teens and so not as experienced as a lot of actors that have walked the boards of the National in the past. The use of body language is fantastic and overall the cast thrives off the energy of one and other to create an hour long performance that is emotive in so many different ways. This is a play that confronts adult topics with the naivety of youth and strikes exactly the right balance between the two thanks to both great writing and stellar performances.