Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

Beats North

Luke Barnes and Ishy Din
Company TSU in Association with Curious Monkey
Summerhall @ Roundabout

Beats North

The presentation is far stronger than either of the plots that comprise Beats North.

Set in the north east, the stories of youthful insecurities featuring Jack, 14, and Al, around five years older, are familiar from many other equivalents.

Readers can decide for themselves which parts each of the playwrights wrote, always being wary to avoid stereotyping.

Tom Booth as Jack lives with his father after Mum ran off with another man. The nervous youngster keeps going thanks to the support of a rag doll, much to the amusement of his peers at school.

Assad Zaman’s Al is at college, while his brother is on remand awaiting trial for murder. The student is having dual affairs—with his guitar and a white girl, neither of which appeals to his Pakistani taxi driver father.

The interwoven stories are wittily set to music from DJ Mariam Rezaei, making considerably more of the evening than would otherwise have been the case.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher