Friday, 4 July 2014

Theatre Review - A First World Problem

Amelia (Molly Vevers), Hebe (Milly Thomas),

L-R Amelia (Molly Vevers), Hebe (Milly Thomas), Lydia (Kate Craggs)
pic credit Jack Sain


IF you ever wondered what life could be like at a posh girls only boarding school then check out a production of a new play, A First World Problem which is currently on at Battersea's brilliant Theatre503.
Disturbing, funny, emotional and sad this brilliantly observed piece by Milly Thomas hits you right between the eyes with its brutal depiction of life at a fictional institution for extremely privileged girls who work hard and play hard.
It is like a 21st century version of St Trinian’s with its references to drugs, teenage hormones, porn, sex, eating disorders, bullying, extra curricular activities with male teachers, attempted suicide and feminism.
These subjects are played out and explored by Hebe (Milly Thomas), Lydia (Kate Craggs) and Amelia (Molly Vevers), three 18-year-old friends anxiously awaiting letters which will tell them whether or not they’ve got into Oxford University.
Hebe is a mouthy but extremely bright and articulate girl on the verge of womanhood. Vulnerable but strong she is a nightmarish and volatile cocktail of raging hormones and cruelty in the way she speaks and acts.
Milly Thomas is fantastic as this troubled teen switching from foul mouthed ranting bully - who has no off switch when it comes to controlling her nasty outbursts towards her fellow pupil Amelia - to sexy and seductive when she ends up having extra history lessons with young teacher Steve.
Kate Craggs and Molly Vevers put in great performances as the other two girls as well as their portrayals of Steve and headteacher Ms Broad.
And putting the production on at the tiny Theatre503 is a stroke of genius as it gives a sense of the claustrophobic atmosphere these girls live in.
At just 90 minutes, this is an intelligent piece, well staged, that tackles serious and important topics in a sensitive but enthralling and entertaining way.

A First World Problem is at Theatre503, Latchmere Road until July 12. Tickets from £10. Visit or call the box office on 020 7978 7040.

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