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14 May 2009
Sitting here, writing this I feel invigorated and alive. That was the effect of Frontline, the play written by Che Walker and Directed by Mathew Dunster What a faultless cast! I don't actually want to write this I just want to text everyone and tell them to get down to the Globe for this short return run of Frontline.
Frontline is a collage of any city centre, this one situated by a tube station and a nightspot - The Fantasy Bar. The characters we meet are a mixture of cultures and ages, all struggling to survive in the great cosmopolitan, including the evangelistic God Squad, lap dancers, drug dealers, drug addicts and someone who deserves a mention, the wonderful Mordechai Thurrock -(Trystan Graville), an aspiring actor so desperate, he will take his show to the agent he his constantly trying to phone from Carlton the tramp/drug addicts phone box home. Another perfect casting of Huss Gabiya.
This could be a snapshot from Camden (where Che grew up) or Brixton or any busy tube station. Several storylines interweave throughout, helped by narration from the Scottish hot dog vendor, Erkenwald, who talks of love, loneliness and the 'desperate invisibles'.
There were many great performances from the cast of 22, who work brilliantly as an ensemble piece with music, dancing and - best of all - laughter. However there were also some important issues raised: Cockburn, the baddie of the piece, a racist drug dealer was given a brief history of civilization in the U.K by Jo Martin's wonderfully vibrant and fierce Violet.
The overlapping dialogue with several conversations taking place at once, adds to the effect of standing outside a busy tube and trying to register the hustle and bustle.
It was striking to see such a diverse audience in age and culture at the Globe. Frontline is refreshing, inventive and enjoyable. It touches on serious issues, racism, drugs, and gangs and violence, it may not answer all these questions but it is one hell of a performance. It's a great way to get younger people into the Globe which is why I need to get my sons and their friends along a.s.a.p!
The audience clearly loved the show and gave the performers a rapturous applause at the end. Frontline is back but not for long enough - get there now!
Shakespeare's Globe, Bankside, SE1 until May 23rd
RAILTON ROAD SE24,
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TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
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