Theatre review: The Surge

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“What do we want?” “Change!” “When do we want it?” “Now!” We’re at a protest against tuition fees, being addressed by MP Jessica Wiles.

Star rating: ***

Venue: Greenside @ Royal Terrace (Venue 231)

She’s stepped out of the House of Commons in order to lead the people. However, some of these people believe they’d be better off going it alone.

This young ensemble from King’s College London has created an engaging and, at times, inspiring piece of political theatre about how peaceful protests can become defined by instances of ­violence, and instances of ­violence can be brushed aside in the name of a cause.

Fusing physical theatre, direct address and some well-observed set pieces – particularly one set in a parliamentary debate – it’s an imaginative if at times slightly earnest piece that conveys the issues, sometimes at the expense of developing characters.

But a final sequence, in which we are shown footage of protests past – by workers and women, against everything from sexual discrimination to nuclear weapons, Vietnam to poll tax – is fascinating to watch and a reminder of what can be achieved, and what there is still left to achieve, by normal, everyday people coming together and fighting for a better world.

Until 27 August. Today 10pm.