Ed Fringe Festival Review – Heroes ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Thursday night, Top Of The Pops on the 12 inch, two young friends lives are changed forever as they watch David Bowie perform ‘Starman’ for the first time. This is how we open on Exploding Whale’s debut new show ‘Heroes.’ More than just a nostalgic trip back to 1972 the writing holds its own in this fresh, energetic and fast paced play.
Exploding Whale Theatre stars Bebe Barry (Billie) and Greg Birks (Tinhead) shone with mature, vibrant performances and Henry Lewis (Joe) complimented them perfectly resulting in some stunning scenes for which they should be applauded.
As the play moves on we see the den in the forest exchanged for the squat in London, both sanctuaries from the trio’s dysfunctional home life. Here we meet Pinkie (Elina Saleh), David (Dan Ciotkowski), Karen (Hester Tallack) and Pete (Julian Bailey-Jones) as they befriend the endearing runaways and help with their quest to go and see Bowie perform. Perhaps this is where the story staggers slightly and the performances become a tad unrealistic, however, the cast still give 100% commitment and along with the glorious soundtrack of ‘Ziggy Stardust,’ it does not detract from the enjoyment of the piece.
Greg Birks’ touching characterisation of ‘Tinhead’ gives us a huge emotional payout at the end and Bebe Barry does not miss a beat from her first line to her last, an outstanding performance. On the whole, this coming of age story of friendship and self-discovery is a triumph, especially for such a young theatre company.
If you are a fan of new writing or the music of David Bowie you will not be disappointed with ‘Heroes.’