“Would you rather be fingered by a sloth for three minutes, or give up kissing forever?” Truly one of today’s most vexing questions. Also a great way to start what is a funny, fast paced and moving short play about the trials of teenage-hood.
Cheer Up Slug follows three young people on their Duke of Edinburgh misadventure. We have the awkward and over serious Will, the blustering yet vulnerable rude-girl Alex and the floaty, bug-collecting Bean. All three were played exceptionally well by Daniel Watson, Jill McAusland and Rebecca Tebbett, conjuring three very different characters who each evoked the stereotypes of teenagers while remaining human and believable.
There was lots to be impressed with in this one hour performance. Comedy conversations are notoriously hard but the young cast of three pulled these off expertly. Good timing, no stitled pauses, proper interruptions and plenty of expletives elicited loads of unforced laughter from the whole audience. Equally impressive were the more subtle emotional moments as the play progressed to darker subject matter. Watson, McAusland and Tebbett did an excellent job of showing real emotion through believable conversation, with a particularly impressive set of tears at one point. By contrast, a few of the more shouty high emotion scenes were perhaps a little too energetic, although this was only apparent because of the excellent delicate displays surrounding them.Most of all, the play reminded me of how glad I am to no longer be a teenager. Trying to figure out those around you while you haven't got yourself figured out yet looks like a lot of hard work. Cheer Up Slug delivers this feeling in spades while still managing to be witty, funny, fast paced and touching. Good job Slug!