Skin Deep: thought provoking and entertaining
Skin Deep, Wednesday 16th January, The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter
Also showing at the City Gate, Exeter on Friday 25th and Tuesday 29th January
By Jenna Richards
Glued to my seat, sucked in to the play, I barely moved throughout Skin Deep – a serious but entertaining original play showing at Exeter’s Bike Shed Theatre last Wednesday.
Perched uncomfortably on half a seat I was glad of complete absorption, not only did it demonstrate some brilliant theatre, but took my mind of my aching back! It was brilliant to see the Bike Shed packed to the rafters but a couple less people would have made it more comfortable for all!
The show, part of the From Devon With Love festival, tackled the difficult themes of cultural identity, working class values, race and sexuality effortlessly with some wonderful twists and turns and a smattering of humour.
The characters were well rounded, believable and three dimensional. I felt empathy and engagement with each of their quite different, but intertwined stories.
The small cast from Substance and Shadow theatre used the basic set and props, four wooden chairs and a few on stage outfit changes, brilliantly. They never missed a beat and the acting was seamless throughout.
Set in 1980 and born out of the cultural melting pot of Jamaica, London and Coventry, ska and two tone music was sweeping the nation and had arrived in Exeter
Four lives were touched and entwined forever by music, fashion and culture. When Jem suddenly returned home from London, bringing with him a new identity, friendships were stretched and bonds tested.
Skin Deep is an original play by Rosie and Midge Mullin written especially for the From Devon with Love Festival run by The Bike Shed Theatre and FrameWork.
Skin Deep is on again at the City Gate on January 25th and Tuesday 29th January. Tickets £5 on the door, 7:30pm – go see it.