Theatre review: Generation


STANDING on the precipice of adulthood can be scary and exciting in equal measure. At the age of 17, three of the four performers in Generation are still too young to vote, pay tax, drink alcohol legally or get married without parental consent. It's all ahead of them.

The fourth actor, 18-year-old Nebli, is already there (as he smugly demonstrates with a can of Tennent's) and while he's pretty unfazed by the challenges ahead, his fellow teenagers are not.

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"Do you understand the country's current financial situation?", "how will you fund your children?", "have you got a pension plan?" they demand of him. Nebli is low on answers.

There's much to provoke thought in this latest work from glas(s) performance, both for those of us already grown-up and those on the way. There's also a good deal of humour, perfectly timed by the four talented cast members (with Nebli's Robert De Niro impersonation meriting special mention).

What there's surprisingly little of, given the subject matter, is poignancy. On two occasions, Daniel Purves gets right to the heart of the matter: first, when he hurtles through his life at breakneck speed, stating exactly what he'll be doing, where and when between the ages of 18 and 70. Secondly, when he stops for a second to worry what will happen if it doesn't all go according to plan – which of course it won't, nor should it.

It is moments such as this, and the infectious energy displayed throughout, that give Generation its impact.

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