Lockdown still holds itself as the taboo topic most would really rather not remember or talk about, a word that when brought up is shrugged off as being ‘so 2020’. It’s become the predictable tale of staying indoors and inundated hospitals. But the story that is rarely told, the side which has been largely dismissed is that of school kids. How did a two-year break impact their social lives? Their learning? Their attitude? The Kind Refuser explores the perspective of high school kids getting back into the classroom and the chaos that ensues.
The play begins in a generic classroom, with kids talking back to the teachers and generally misbehaving. Each of the five kids have their own brilliantly unique character that is brought to life by the young actors. One is obsessed with being a model, one obsessed with solving a Rubik’s cube and one adamant on being unresponsive and for the most of it, silent. The silent child becomes a fixation for the substitute teacher, who is determined to help this troubled child.
As well rounded and three-dimensional as the characters were, many loose strings were left with each narrative. Plot points were picked up and dropped, never to be revisited again, leaving the play without any sense of closure.
Overall, The Kind Refuser is a brilliant and truthful insight into life inside a classroom post-pandemic, even if the audience doesn’t get the answers they were hoping for.
The Kind Refuser is performing at The Omnibus Theatre until the 28th Oct.
Review: Bibi Lucille