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Watermill Young Company - Accelerate

9th to 12th July 2003.

This is the Newbury Weekly News review.

Off at full throttle

Watermill Young Company: Accelerate, at the Watermill Theatre, from Wednesday, July 9 to Saturday, July 12

Ade Morris's political black comedy play Accelerate is a splendid microcosm of people's relationship with each other. It centres on the issue of trust within society and the government, reflecting the current political situation in Britain. This is a well-observed tightly-written play, reflecting our changing world of values, trust and respect.

This talented Watermill Young Company grasped these issues with confidence, enthusiasm and relish, producing performances that belied their youth and several times I had to remind myself that they were not professional actors.

The play is set in a lock-up garage in South London, with an intriguing effective design by Libby Watson, consisting of banks of televisions and a central bed which also doubled as a car.

Gareth Warne gave a powerful and convincing performance as Pip, the car thief with loads of attitude. He started small; well, the first car he nicked was a mini. He lives in the garage with his girlfriend Mel, a successful prostitute who is totally in control of her life - an outstanding performance by Lizzie Sigrist, this is an actress to watch in the future.

Eliza (Rosie McGahan) lives on the streets and is a part-time drug dealer who 'fancies' Pip. Looking over this trio are two spirits from the past, Albert (Jon Harding) and Josephine (Caroline Calder), who are 1950s 'airwaves', guardians of the televisions that make up our world of fantasies.

There has been a major crime committed. A politician (Peter Olive) has been indulging in some very kinky sexual activities with Mel and is bundled into the boot of a car and ends up in the garage, presumably dead. It turns out that he is the estranged father of Eliza who wants revenge.

Sent to solve this crime are the most wonderfully comic pastiche team from every television detective series that has been shown. Toni Myers, complete with American accent, is the perfect Vice ably assisted by Ollie Hawes as Violence and Ellie Ware as Vanity and they certainly lived up to their character names.

What a thought provoking, enjoyable evening that was obviously much appreciated by an enthusiastic audience. Youth theatre at its best.