altJack Thorne is well versed in writing about the intense social pressures that dominate adolescence. A lead writer on Skins, Thorne continues to dissect themes of growing up in multi-cultural Britain in his latest work, Bunny.

Coming from Luton, Katie is immersed in social pressures: who did what and when, how to look good in front of boys and how to fit in. Abe is her ‘sort of’ boyfriend. Katie tells us about him: he works in the Vauxhall factory in the office, he’s also black – not that it’s important or anything. Katie stumbles; she’s worried she’s just said something racist. 

Yet despite being billed as a comment of race relations or multiculturalism, Katie highlights how decoupled sex and socialising are from skin colour. The main characters are black, Asian and white, and aside from the occasional casually racist aside, this hardly affects the story line or the social dynamic. Hormones trump skin pigments in Bunny.

Despite seemingly drowning in this social melting pot, Katie is neither stupid nor is she unaware of her often hopeless situation. Quite capable of coming up for air, she has several moments of self-realisation about her often limited prospects for the future.

Thorne primarily does a good job of recreating those wrenching moments of social unease, apprehensiveness and angst experienced in adolescence, but don’t expect any new revelations about race relations in Britain. 

Underbelly, 5-29 Aug (not 18), 2.10pm

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