Theatre Critic and Journalist

Review: Wild Horses, Theatre 503

Review: Wild Horses, Theatre 503

Published in Time Out, 23.06.2010

Judging from the shoulders pads and vintage assortments modelled by the teenagers of Nimer Rashed’s debut play, today’s youth deem the past ripe for reappropriation. These bitches of Eastbourne, their heads full of possibilities, sneer down at their elders, stuck in their reliable jobs with their loving relationships and small-town responsibilities. They want the world and, like their fast food, they want it their way.

Having dragged herself, tail between her legs, back to her parents’ home after a misguided relationship with an older man, 17-year-old Ellie spends her time sulking, shelf-stacking and swigging Malibu, waiting for the choicest lifestyle to fall into place. Sure, it’s a touch Channel 4, but Rashed underpines sharp dialogue with something pertinent and disparaging.

Rather than gently coercing loose ends together, however, he attempts a clever twists. It’s a shame, since his disintegration of reality proves naively impatient – more ‘Crossroads’ than Kaufman.

Jessica Clark’s Ellie is touchingly heartfelt, striking a tidy balance between self-conscious insecurity and unwitting inelegance, and there’s comic flair from Jade Anouka and John Trindle as her peers. For all that Nadia Latif’s direction handles the veneer of teenage irony, there’s nothing she can do to prevent this self-destructive script from going off the rails.

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