Camp & Furnace
Created by YEP Young Actors with directors Matt Rutter and Chris Tomlinson
Produced and presented by Young Everyman and Playhouse (YEP)
24th - 26th February 2012

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

The new Liverpool Young Everyman & Playhouse (YEP) theatre group was launched with an ambitious production based on the theme of war.

Instead of the audience sitting down and watching a piece of theatre, they were put at the centre of the action as the scenes unfolded, but did not interact with the actions or dialogue of the actors, although at times I was tempted to do so!

Performed at the Camp and Furnace venue on Greenland Street (where the AFoundation was formally housed) they fully utilised the various rooms and spaces within the premises.

Each member of the audience was accompanied by an usher throughout the 70 minutes of the piece, which comprised ten separate scenes depicting lives changed by conflict, based on real-life stories from the war in Afghanistan.

At times it was unsettling, particularly when a young woman, playing the part of a squaddie, charged upto me and screamed in my face.

Other stories included listening to two British army snipers on the roof of the building, talking about 'taking out' members of the Teleban - it was very believable.

Another featured sitting at a family dinner table, with one chair remaining empty, symbolishing the death of a family member in Afghanistan.

Myself and another audience member also sat at the table, along with four of the cast.

With various stories taking place simultaneously - sounds emanating from different parts of the building - some of them very loud - it led to a disturbing sensation of being incarcerated in a mental asylum.

Future productions by YEP - if they are as accomplished and thought provoking as 'Intimate' they are must see events - take place at:
The Static Gallery in Roscoe Street ('You Are Being Watched') March 10/11
Albert Dock (Excuse Me?) March 24/25
The Playhouse Studio (Illyria) April 17-21.

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