A tale of tolerance on the rooftop

This site-specific play within a play gives a poignant message about identity and breaking down barriers, finds Abi Manning

Sometimes the biggest issues can be most poignantly portrayed by young people, and Sparkleshark proved to do just that. Heads Up Youth Theatre delivered a valiant performance amidst blazing sunshine pouring upon their set at the top of Green Lanes’ multi-storey car park.

A smattering of props – a lampshade, shopping trolley and battered leather chairs to name a few – begin life as the surroundings for the rooftop refuge used by budding writer and ‘geek’, Jake. Yet as other characters invade this space, they end up as props for an internal fairytale which has the young actors performing a play within a play that draws the geek, mean girls and rugby boys together.

This they did admirably – the plot was clear and characters defined. It wasn’t without drama, though. Jake (the ‘geek’) comes heart-stoppingly close to a tumble over the car park barriers, and this is juxtaposed with the humorously acted, cocksure Russell and the mean girls who exuded feistiness.

Encompassing the themes of bullying, vulnerability and tolerance, this was an enjoyable reminder of how the power of storytelling overcomes barriers.

Head to the top of the multi-storey car park on Sunday at 3pm to watch for yourself.

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