I have seen few plays whose subject matter ranges from calorie counting to Bolshevism through Everton’s Youth Academy to The A-Team. I have seen even fewer which manage to remain entertaining while they do so and, until tonight, none which packs it all in to forty-five minutes!
Twix follows the trials and errors of two young men in a Northern city with Jamie, played by a strongly captivating Christopher Brown, struggling to a) support his younger brother and b) steer clear of drug dealing and other vices as he does so. Henry, an engaging and comical Jeremy Franklin, is suffering from exam stress and the possible implosion of the multiple worlds he seems to live in. Both seem warped by pressures that are universal, although their backgrounds are vastly different – they both struggle with the prospect of living up to their own standards. Indeed, the importance of the everyday legacy is clear here with Jamie seeking to step out from under the shadow of his father’s notoriety and Henry is fixated on creating his own.
Twix discovers impressive depth for what is only Antonym Theatre’s second show. Over the course of the forty-five minutes the audience is invited to enjoy the individuality of shared experience as the two contrasting narratives interweave seamlessly. The show manages to encapsulate the anxieties and uncertainties of the young adult without tilting into the realm of cliché and a clever bit of multiroling, that is both detailed and stylish, adds another dynamic to the piece, successfully elevating it above the treacherous territory of monologuing.
Christopher Brown carefully and competently skirts the typical “nice but dim” label as Jamie and there is a real fire behind the care for his brother. His energy is electric and his passions infectious. Likewise Jeremy Franklin skilfully treads the line between pursuing ambition and fearing failure whilst maintaining the perfect level of student self-absorption but never shutting the audience out completely. These are two well-crafted stories blended beautifully by playwright Laurie Ogden. At times Twix has all the wit and finesse of Godber at his finest and powers along thanks to strong direction from Cara Withers.
In some places witty and upbeat, elsewhere uncharted and dangerous, Twix is a new-writing triumph. The spoiling of innocence and the haunting presence of legacy are not only made accessible but universal thanks to an incredible dynamic between the two performers while this show somehow manages to celebrate its own concision. As timeless as the confectionery it takes its name from, Twix is a definite must-see at Edinburgh Fringe this year!
Twix played theSpace until August 27th.