Originally published in The Stage, June 2016
When Boy opened at the Almeida earlier this year, writer Leo Butler was widely praised for his faithful representation of often-marginalised young people in London. A master of observation, Butler mapped the journey of a teenage boy through a day in London, a boy who falls through the cracks of society. A few months after Boy opened, and Butler is exploring themes of youth again, this time with the Bridge Company – a company of young actors from the Brit School in-between school and higher education.
The Brit Company has spent almost a year with Butler developing a play, Decades, that explores the lives of teenagers through the decades – slamming together moments in history and clashes of culture. The plays are different in tone, but at the heart of both of them is an exploration of what it means to be young, and particularly of young people who are marginalised and fall through the cracks.