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Critics' choice
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The volume of 'Barbarians' rarely drops below a shout. But Barrie Keeffe's searing late-'70s depiction of a Britain that chews up its young and spits them out into a brutalising wasteland of broken promises and joblessness works best at high volume.

Three linked plays about three lads explore with bruising directness the destructive tribalism of a society that has become cut off from itself. We watch as friends Jan, Paul and Louis try to steal a car, try desperately to get into the stadium to watch their beloved Manchester United in the FA Cup Final and ultimately come to blows at Notting Hill Carnival.

Director Bill Buckhurst steps up to the scabrous wit of the script, drawing blistering performances from his three-strong cast. Together they bring a feverish energy to a stage space which, ironically, was once the site of a Youth Enterprise Scheme.

Thomas Coombes mesmerises as the increasingly volatile Paul, kicking and head-butting the set's bleak, graffiti-scrawled walls with the frustration of someone as keen to break out as he is to break in.

What goes around comes around. As we risk losing another generation to long-term unemployment, this adrenalin-pumping revival represents fringe theatre at its most vital and alive. The hard questions it asks about who we are to each other couldn't be timelier.

Event phone: 0845 680 1926

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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1 person listening

Great Show well done to all involved. The superb three actors put all there hart into there performances I will be seeing the show again.


Superb....script....direction...acting. I go to the theatre about once a week but this just blew me away.


Exceptionally gritty, and although set in the 1970s, very relevant today. Great stage directions as well, totally not what i expected


Brilliant - disturbing, hilarious, upsetting and superb acting. A must see show!