Smart, funny and very effectively realised in this ATYP production, Nathan Moncrieff’s play dives into the ongoing debate over mobile use and cyber-safety in schools.
EZ (played by young actor Tobias Purcell) is the ringleader of a gang devoted to taking down their school peers online. After a brush with the school authorities that nearly sees him expelled, he devises a fake social media account that enables him to make everyone’s life miserable without risk to himself.
April Aardvark is born.
Under this nom de guerre, EZ and his pals grow bolder and more abusive, and for a while, the scheme seems to be working perfectly – that is, until an imperious, blue-haired character claiming to be April Aardvark (Carmen Rolfe) turns up.
Is she a hoax? Is she the real deal? Either way, she’s terrifying.
April Aardvark is an ATYP Foundation Commission play and written to a daunting brief, which demands a large cast in the 10-13 age range and satisfying parts of roughly equal weight for all involved.
Directed by Amy Hardingham, Moncrieff’s script delivers in all departments to create an ensemble piece that gives everyone plenty to do in roles that have a measure of growth and emotional range to them.
It’s playing until Saturday.