The Spaces @ Royal College of Surgeons
7-15 August, 18.45
Set years in the future, Generation F follows the story of a teenage boy who has, due to a system malfunction, been transported fifty years into the future. During the intervening years, there has been a great flood due to our generation’s abuse of the environment, and this moral urges the audience to reflect on their own actions and treatment of the environment.
Through the protagonist George (Tom Powell), we meet the various inhabitants of the future, and encounter a snapshot of their lives. The issues tackled are relatable, as they should be in good satire, and we meet Albert (Freddie Nevison), the lying politician who plans to use his power to implement evil schemes such as brainwashing and stealing the inheritance of everyone over seventy. Running parallel to this is the love-story between two teenagers. The plot allows much scope for comedy and more serious reflection – although towards the end, the humour poked at teenage hormones became a little tedious.
Visually, the play works, and the costumes are imaginative. The cast was young – ages ranging from fifteen to seventeen – and as a result, their performances lacked polish and were at times stilted and self-conscious. However, their young age meant that there was a real enthusiasm and energy behind their acting, particularly found in the excellent acting of Francesca Cooper (Edith), and during the hilarious celebrity-parodying scene.
With a little more experience and confidence, this could be a great performance. The main issues I had, however, were due to the one-dimensional aspect of the characters – while this may have been intentional, I felt that most of them were stereotyped characters, particularly Albert who was almost a cartoon villain. This allowed scope for humour and while he did serve as an effective parody of today’s politicians, the satire may have been more pointed if he were made more three-dimensional. While at times the more serious reflection on the environment seemed a little contrived (mainly due to its clash with the love/lust plot) this gave the play a greater depth to its message, and prevented it from degenerating into a trashy romance between hormonal teenagers. This was amusing in moderation, and the issues that the play raised were valid, memorable and topical.