Fcuk’d is an exploration of the power of brotherly love. On an empty stage with a single bin turned on its side, George Edwards delivers a monologue in verse as an unnamed teen from Hull.
A one-man spoken word piece, Fcuk’d centres on a teenage boy on the run with his younger brother from the authorities. Member of Olivier Award winning Mischief Theatre Company, Niall Ransome has created an honest and generally well-written piece of poetry. With anger aplenty and some perfectly placed moments of tenderness, Fcuk’d gives a voice to a boy whose system has failed him. While verse is a refreshing mode for such a story, the material often admittedly feels contrived. Still though, the heart of this story shines through the confines of its rhyme scheme.
Edwards’ performance as unnamed Boy is convincing. He effortlessly delivers this extended piece of poetry transitioning between the troubled protagonist and his naive younger brother. The stark difference between the repressed adolescent and the innocent child creates a character conflict which appears to almost mirror the boy he once was. The character remarks ‘there’s only so many times you’re called shit, before you start getting to believe it’, and lines such as, which give us a real sense of what it means to be pushed to breaking point by a system that doesn’t accommodate you.
While the direction is well executed, the piece would be enhanced by injections of physical theatre. During running and movement scenes we see some opportunities for stylised motifs to be woven throughout; instead it falls a little flat without taking advantage of physical theatre. Fringe venues are hit and miss but this space doesn’t quite work for the piece. Fcuk’d would be far more effective in the round, immersing the audience in the conversational performance. The piece is often, and unavoidably, interrupted by noise from the neighbouring space but Edwards deals with this brilliantly. Essentially, this important play deserves a better space and bigger audiences.
With over 100,000 children running away from home every year, Fcuk’d gives a voice to those who are rarely heard from. Playwright Ransome comments on the fact that ‘we cast judgement when we don’t know the full story. We don’t take the time. We have a responsibility to tell stories of real people’. Fcuk’d is a well written piece of spoken word with an important story to tell. With a little more direction this piece could be stunning.
Gilded Balloon, Teviot – Sportsman
Photo Credit: Andreas Lambis