Junkyard Review

Junkyard is the latest musical created by Headlong Theatre Company with Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Theatr Clwyd, and Rose Theatre Kingston. I had the chance to see this piece at the Bristol Old Vic and was not disappointed.

Junkyard Review

Bristol Old Vic is an incredibly atmospheric theatre, and despite being under renovation continues to create a welcoming and enchanting atmosphere upon entry to their makeshift bar.

Junkyard follows the story of a group of children living in Longleaze 1979, begrudgingly roped into building their own playground by teacher Rick. Throughout the piece we watch as six 13 year olds build not only a playground, but the place they belong and then fight to uphold.

Heading into this piece, I had admittedly missed the fact this show was a musical and despite not thinking much of that style of theatre, I thought Junkyard was a brilliant demonstration of how to do a musical right. Every hard-hitting or tear-jerking moment in this piece came from true heart and could be felt throughout the duration of the show. I put this down to this to the electric chemistry between the entire cast that brought to life this group of young friends.

As a young person myself, I often find that when you see a piece of theatre with adults playing the roles of children, there is an air of a patronising or condescending tone. Nevertheless five minutes into the production I was comfortably watching a brutally truthful portrayal of a group of 13 year olds (copious amounts of swearing included).

I especially enjoyed the use of the auditorium. The problem with having a junk playground set on stage for the entire performance is that new, alternative ways of taking the audience into different locations must be used. Making use of the levels in the theatre space, alongside placards and lighting worked effectively as a motif for taking us to important places, such as various characters houses, and the school.

Overall, I was impressed by how this potentially childish tale was told in such a raw and heartfelt manner. The performance given by every actor on that stage contributed to and complemented beautifully the visually striking wooden 'junkyard' sprawling the stage. This was a story itching to be told, and Headlong have made an immensely powerful piece of theatre around it. I would thoroughly recommend seeing the show if you are in Bristol soon, and hope that you find it as thought provoking as I did.



Carli Green

Carli Green Activist

Hi, I'm Carli. I'm part of this years team of Arts Award Activists. I'm an aspiring actor with an interest in anything dramatic. I am currently working for Prime Theatre in Swindon running workshops and leading performance projects. Generally just trying to learn as much as I can and pass on as much knowledge as possible.

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  • Luke Taylor

    On 13 March 2017, 10:32 Luke Taylor Contributor commented:

    Great review Carli! It must've been awkward watching a bunch of fully grown adults act like children...

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