• Amy Toledano

Raves R Us presented by Naughty Corner Productions

What is it? Raves R Us is a late night party play about a group of four friends in London who find solace and excitement in the rave scene.

What is it all about?

Charlie is trying to kill himself and he and his friends work in the soon to be closed Toys R Us. One night they follow the ever gurning Ziggy down an alley and find themselves at a rave. After the best night of their lives they hatch a plan to throw one themselves, to get themselves out of the tedium and poverty of their day to day lives.

How did it make me feel?

Raves R Us is what you imagine when you think of a late night show. Naughty Corner transport us to a booming warehouse in Hounslow almost instantly and the party doesn't stop. The whole cast are energetic and precise in their perpetual choreography of shit nights and great nights. Samantha Alton as Gwen and Liam Powell-Berry as Ziggy are particularly impressive, giving high-octane and humorous performances that drive the narrative forward at an impressive speed. The writing is endlessly fun and relatable, falling short only on what point it is trying to make. The concept of disillusioned youth searching for a good time is one that has been tackled before, and Raves R Us doesn’t bring anything particularly new to this conversation. At one point it refers to itself as a ‘shit Trainspotting’ and does at some points fulfil this, with grandiose speeches that don’t live up to the space they are trying to give themselves. The protagonist is also intensely dislikable. This feels like a conscious choice from writers Mike Dickinson and Adam Nicholls. Personally, I love a dislikable protagonist but Charlie doesn’t grow or develop as a person which is tiresome and irritating by the end.

The elements of this show come together well, the design, acting and writing are intense enough to give you a hangover.

Anything else?

Raves R Us is a good time built on bad times. If you’ve ever felt stuck and the only way out is to dance, then this is the show for you.

Serafina x

Raves R Us is playing in the Cavern, VAULT Festival, until the 21st February 2020.

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