The Political History of Smack and Crack
Roundabout @ Summerhall
The riots of 1981 shocked Thatcherite Britain. According to this script, they were also the catalyst for heroin addiction across the nation, which may have resulted from an establishment conspiracy, so the theory goes.
In Manchester, Moss Side was the centre of the trouble, with the juvenile Neil and Mandy in the thick of it.
The 60-minute performance then follows their woes from brief attraction through the early pleasures of narcotic escape moving on to prostitution, theft, prison and as many deaths as a cat. Along the way, there are also tender moments and regular visits to group sessions intended to help addicts we themselves away from their only friends, the drugs.
This is all grim stuff but a heavily narrated style brings the best out of performers Eve Steele and Neil Bell, who are depressingly convincing under the direction of Cressida Brown.
Reviewer: Philip Fisher