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Review: Broken Biscuits at Newcastle Live Theatre

The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth!

Broken Biscuitsby Tom Wells
Newcastle Live Theatre
Saturday 22nd October 2016

East Yorkshirebased writer Tom Wells brings a tale of three 16 year old ‘inbetweeners’ from Hull who decide to reinvent themselves before heading to Sixth Form College. On opening night at its World Premiere at Newcastle’s Live Theatre at provided laughs along the way in its feel good message about growing up in the 21st century.

Three friends have just finished year 11 and decide to have an EMOOF (Emergency Meeting Of Our Friendship). The gregarious Megan (Faye Christall) announces that, after an investment at the local charity shop, they should form a band and enter the battle of the bands at the Sixth Form College. Quiet geek Holly (Grace Hogg-Robinson) would rather spend the summer learning coding. Their mutual male friend Ben (Andrew Reed) is working at the local old folks home buying fabrics from Hessle Road for their craft afternoons.

Using Meg’s shed as a rehearsal room, they decide to try to pull together songs about teenage love and selling stickers in a show down Princess Avenue. Between the songs they explore the insecurities of life as a teen. Mother’s boyfriends trying to bond and neighbours son’s being abusive are in addition to an examination into their own friendship.

Lily Arnold’s set design is of the shed and, with the combination of Joshua Pharo’s lighting design and Dominic Kennedy’s sound, it is able to cope with staging the musical interludes effectively.

Grace Hogg-Robinson as Holly
The three young actors are able to capture the awkwardness of teen relationships that come under pressure from new, external, challenges. They were entertaining and created an interesting show. Sure, it is still a little rough around the edges, but that, somehow, mirrors the dysfunctional nature of teen relationships. The decision to run for 90 minutes without an interval is to be praised as it helped keep the momentum going under James Grieve’s direction.

The show is advertised as suitable for ages 12+. Sexual acts are mentioned and Meg has something of a “potty mouth” so “parental guidance” is advised.

Faye Christall as Megan
Our son came away full of thought and praise for Broken Biscuits. He said he recognised much of the situation and of the characters. Each one reflected a part of his personality and was really impressed by the play.

Broken Biscuits is a fun, creative show that taps into the ‘Inbetweeners’ generation. Sure, some of the action is not yet polished; and the characters are a bit stereotypical, but the play’s heart is in the right place. The three actors create teens that are both charming and recognisable - their life is sweet, even if they don’t recognise it.  

Review by Stephen Oliver (@panic_c_button)

Andrew Reed as Ben
Faye Christall as Megan
Grace Hogg-Robinson as Holly
Andrew Reed as Ben

Writer: Tom Wells
Songs by: Matthew Robins
Direction: James Grieve
Design: Lily Arnold
Lighting: Joshua Pharo
Sound: Dominic Kennedy

On The Web:

Broken Biscuits is a Paines Plough and Live Theatre production appearing from Wednesday 5 to Saturday 22 October 2016. Tickets for Broken Biscuits are £22-£10, over 60s concession £16-£12, other concessions £15-£6. Tickets for Broken Biscuits and associated events can be booked by visiting or by contacting the box office on (0191) 232 1232.
Suitable for ages 12+

Other Events
SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER, 9.15PM (after the show) Martha + Support by Street Party in Soho
Martha is a four-piece pop-punk band from Pity Me in Durham who play “melodic, soul-influence punk rock music with strength and humour”. Headlining their first gig at Live Theatre they are supported by Street Party in Soho from North Shields whose music is “Liquid Candy Shop Afro-Pop”.
DATE: Sat 8 Oct, 9.15pm
LOCATION: Studio Theatre
DURATION: Approx. 1hr 15mins
TICKETS: Add just £2 to the price of your Broken Biscuits ticket and see the gig. Tickets available via the box office. Gig only tickets £5.

SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER, 5.30PM Mr Drayton’s Record Player
Proud to return to Live Theatre with Pulp’s classic album Different Class featuring Mis-Shapes, the song which gave Broken Biscuits its name. The idea is simple. A classic album, on vinyl, played in full with no interruption, just as nature intended. The record is accompanied with a slide show celebrating the music; afterwards pit your music knowledge for cheap prizes and even cheaper laughs.
DATE: Sat 15 Oct, 5.30pm
LOCATION: Undercroft
TICKETS: Free, booking essential

4PM Song Writing Workshop
13 to 19 years of age and interested in finding out more about writing lyrics or setting words to music? Then this event is for you. Join Natasha Haws as she shares with you the art of song writing. No experience needed.

DATE: Sat 22 Oct,
LOCATION: Live Tales, behind Live Theatre
SUITABILITY: 13 to 19 year olds
TICKETS: Free, booking essential.  Limited numbers available.

Tour dates:

The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth 25 – 29 October Box Office: 01752 627 222

Hull Truck Theatre 1 – 5 November Box Office: 01482 323 638

McCarthy Studio, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
8 – 13 November Box Office: 01723 370 541
Crucible Studio, Sheffield 15 – 19 November Box Office: 0114 249 6000

The Tobacco Factory, Bristol 25 – 26 November
www.tobaccofactorytheatres.comBox Office: 0117 902 0344

The Door, Birmingham Rep 29 November – 3 December Office: 0121 236 4455

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