About Punk Rock

Friday 11th September 2009

Jessica Raine and Tom Sturridge in Punk Rock. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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As Pirate Dog will tell you, life is unpredictable. So are audiences, especially young audiences. Of course, being a greyhair myself, I have on some occasions been known to grumble about the kids: why can’t they concentrate? Why do they have to text all the time? Why do they have to eat all through the show? They, they, they. But let me be the first to admit that sometimes they are great — spontaneous, open and as responsive as a dream. When I saw Simon Stephens’s Punk Rock at the Lyric Hammersmith this week, there was a particularly provocative moment when the school bully (the story is set in a northern grammar) spits at a humiliated girl. The youngsters in the audiences erupted, half in shock and half in outrage. I heard someone shout, “Oh, my God!” Very gratifying. It was just the right response, and confirmed that play spoke directly to young people. And that they were not afraid to answer back. Ace.

© Aleks Sierz 

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