WHEN John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger burst on the theatrical scene in 1956, changing the face of English theatre completely from the mainly escapism plays that had dominated the scene for the previous half century, it ushered in the new era of the angry young man.
The targets may have changed since that date but just as Jimmy Porter, the leading character in Look Back In Anger, railed against the establishment of that period so George Mann and Nir Paldi, the co-writers, directors, and performers of No Kids, rail with the same passion against today’s society for what they believe is still the prejudice and bigotry it still shows towards a same-sex couple wishing to create their own family.
Using cleverly delivered mime, nimble dance routines, often fiercely delivered dialogue and some outrageous comedy, they explore the possibilities of bringing a kid into their loving relationship …. the joy this would bring to them and the pain and social problems that the kid and they would face from a society perhaps not yet fully able to accept two men bringing up a kid of their own.
They take on many guises at bewildering speed as, while examining those challenges, they relive the prejudices they faced in their own youths from family friends and strangers. They also begin to realise what every parent in the land could have told them in advance – that when you introduce another living soul into your home your life will be drastically changed, and, being another human their responses, fears and wants may not always run parallel to your own.
Suddenly the two men’s deep-rooted love for each other is put under a tremendous strain and they have to face the question – do they want to risk this established happiness for what may or may not prove to be an even greater love.
Having gone through a roller coaster ride with these two wonderfully committed players for 75 minutes, most of the audience (for I dare say there will be some who will still find their inbuilt objections to the premise of two men raising a kid too strong to put aside), would find themselves as wrung out as George Mann and Nir Paldi.
No matter what your feelings on the central theme of the play, you cannot fail to find the evening thought-provoking and to be impressed by the quality of the input from the co-writers, directors and performers, who leave their final decision open ended , leaving you to decide how the story should end.