Armed only with a chat-up line and the bait of being the fittest girl on the beach in Walberswick, Dani – on holiday from London – lands two 16-year-old crabbers for some action.
Competition is intense as the two boys – one a high-flyer destined for university, the other just football crazy – find themselves well out of their depth. Joel Horwood's new play I Caught Crabs In Walberswick – sharp as a pin in this engaging production by the excellent Eastern Angles company – is impressive in its ability to get inside the heads of the teenagers.
Their parents are portrayed as dinosaurs, with futile attempts at communication between the two generations verging on the uncomfortably realistic. The delivery of the bracing dialogue is exhilarating and, under Lucy Kerbel's direction, the rapidity of the faintly ludicrous plot keeps the audience on tenterhooks.
The five actors' well-tuned voices and the writer's understanding of the boredom and angst of teenage existence in a sleepy village, contribute to a sense of foreboding and, as the kids shoot the breeze, an acute awareness of the fragility of these young people's lives. This year's British Open Crabbing Competition is on 10 August, by the way, and you can buy a T-shirt proclaiming "I Caught Crabs at Walberswick".
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