REVIEW: Terriers, Royal Court, 11 Nov 2013

is an educational play commissioned by Merseyside Police in 2008 and has been seen by over 30,000 young people from secondary schools across Merseyside. The play explores the immense pressure Aldo, and boys like him, are under from gang mates and his girlfriend. The play throws up the moral dilemmas and life changing decisions that some young boys and girls have to make. Ben Osu reviews…

“Well, the all new Royal Court décor looks good doesn’t?” Is what I thought to myself as I entered the theatre ready to be (what I hoped was blown) away by the production of Terriers. The theatre finished the first stage of its £10.6M development at the end of June; I can’t wait for the rest of the 1930’s art deco style building to be made-up.

I was invited by Liverpool Live and also Merseyside’s Police Crime Commissioner to watch the play, and was eager for it to get started after hearing amazing reviews – and after been invited 3 times previous but not been able to attend. Everything, I must say, was on point from the cast and acting, the writing, the message which it promoted and the methods used to deliver.

The cast was made up of 6 very strong young actors who held their own and managed to convey the seriousness of the message with the humour and laughter it needed to show the light and shade of the production – shout out to Kelly Forshaw. Contemporarily written & directed by Maurice Bessman and Miriam Musa respectively, the language of the play suited its audience down to a Tee. I doubt the High Sherriff of Merseyside, who was present got all of the slang ya get me fam?!

The message was such a key part to the production, but one thing it never did was preach, and this was brought up in the cast Q&A at the end. The play lets people know that there are alternatives to getting involved in gun, gang and knife culture and that there will always be help. It shows of the consequences and also leaves room to delve into other issues. However, it doesn’t ram it daan your throat which is why, I believe, it is and has been well received.

I do hope there’s a Terriers IIJane Kennedy dig deep in those pockets girl…and you Joe Ando!




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