REVIEW: St Ives Youth Theatre’s Follow, Follow

St Ives Youth Theatre - Review of Follow, Follow

St Ives Youth Theatre - Review of Follow, Follow - Credit: Archant

This latest production from the St Ives Youth Theatre (SIYT) was called Follow, Follow – a title unsuited to the acting which was all “Lead, Lead”.

St Ives Youth Theatre - Review of Follow, Follow

St Ives Youth Theatre - Review of Follow, Follow - Credit: Archant

The emotional drama took place in Northern Ireland during the troubles; a tumultuous era which we all sadly remember.

So the scene was set. Drums and pipes fed the passion of an Orange Order March. The incessant rhythm of the bass drums gradually pumping up pride and emotions. Suddenly, it’s all over and what better for the marching youths to do than hang out in the scruffy recreation park and sink a few bevvies.

Adolescence is a difficult rite of passage for many youngsters; pushing boundaries and trying to find a path through their emotions. Just imagine how that would feel if you were also brought up in the fractious and often violent background of Northern Ireland.

The eight young actors of SIYT understood all this background and set about this 40-minute drama with enthusiasm, imagination and skill.

St Ives Youth Theatre - Review of Follow, Follow

St Ives Youth Theatre - Review of Follow, Follow - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


It was acted with bouts of physical rough and tumble and scarcely disguised sexual innuendo. These were interspersed with passages of retroflection and deliberate pauses of total silence. The mood swung back and forth at remarkable speed. This reflected the passion and angst of youth against the dark mirror of the unhappy street scene.

As for the acting, I don’t know how people so young can convey the emotions and sense of history as well as the teenagers of SIYT.

Most Read

Even when the players were not in a speaking/shouting role, they were supporting the lead through facial expressions and not distracting.

In acting terms the cast punched well above its youthful weight.

St Ives Youth Theatre - Review of Follow, Follow

St Ives Youth Theatre - Review of Follow, Follow - Credit: Archant

In sum, a difficult drama performed by eight very talented young people. All the very best when you take Follow, Follow to Norwich as part of the National Theatre Connections competition. You and your young directors deserve to lead the region and then to be seen in London. You can do it.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter