Groan Ups - Review, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

WHEN it comes to school we all have memories of our friends.

There is the cocky one, the shy one, the super clever one and the one who is always seemingly in trouble and the first act of Groan Ups at the Everyman will have all those memories come flooding back to you.

From the over sized chairs to the brilliantly decorated school classroom, Groan Ups hits the nail on the head in evoking school days memories you thought you had forgotten about.

Essentially this play by Henry Lewis, Jonathon Sayer and Henry Shields is about growing up in 1994 and features all the classic characters from school we all remember. Members of Mischief Comedy play the roles brilliantly with frantic physical comedic aplomb.

There is the confident Moon, played by Yolande Ovine, the slick but naughty Spencer played by Dharmesh Patel, the super bright Katie played by Lauren Samuels, Archie played by Daniel Abbott, Simon played by Matt Cavendish along with performances from the super funny Killian Macardle who played Paul and Jamie Birkett as Miss Murray.

The cast made full use of all the comedy childhood brings us - the insecurities, value sets and accidents children have were all delivered well and brought more than a few wry sniggers from the Cheltenham audience.

This is the perfect show for teachers to go and see. It s fast paced and laugh a minute in Act 1. The second act is a touch more poignant and moving as the children all grow up and return to school for a reunion where everyone discovers what they have been up to since leaving.

Spencer evoked genuine pathos for his naughty, accident prone self and he had some great comedy moments with the class hamster.

There was the undertone of Archie's homosexual feelings for his classmate Spencer which was genuinely sensitively played and Spencer's unrequited love for Katie which had not diminished.

Overall Mischief are a class theatrical act who played this well written play superbly and we look forward to their return to the Everyman.