Jamie Blake

4 Stars

****

Ravenrock Theatre Company’s production of Jamie Blake, written and directed by Ashley Scott-Layton, works on several different levels. It is a neat blend of realistic, coming of age drama, humorous sketch scenes, catchy and soulful songs and clever choreography.

At its core, it is the story of Jamie Blake, a young man in his early twenties, falling desperately in love. After a short and intense relationship in which he believed his love was being returned in equal measure, he was shattered by his girlfriend’s rejection. He narrates these events in the opening scene and what follows is how he reached this state of despair. At first, we can empathise with his loss but as the action unfolds, it becomes apparent that there are other sides to Jamie’s personality.

Enhancing the action is the original music and songs by Rhys Lewis. He is on stage in the background throughout either singing solo to his own accompaniment on guitar or being joined by a chorus of singers with the amazing beatbox of Grace Savage. There are particularly strong performances from Rupert Lazarus as Jamie and Ekow Quartey as Eli, Jamie’s best friend.

Dealing with the fundamental questions of what constitutes love and friendship, it is a play that absorbs throughout.

Reviewed by Ben

Fringe Programme Page Number: 314

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