REVIEW: FOX HUNTING (Courtyard Theatre) ★★★★

Fox Hunting, created by David Alade and produced by Elah Productions (a company supporting new talent to tell stories in a refreshing and artistic way) comes to the Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton for a three week run.

21 year old Alade was raised in Peckham and wanted to tell the stories behind knife crime in London, using true stories from anonymous South Londoners in their own words. The words are taken from the transcripts of interviews with those directly affected by knife crime, both victims and perpetrators. Alade takes to the stage as Joshua, he is joined by Joshua Lewis (Jake), Chris J Gordon (Terrell), Quinton Arigi (Darral) and Devante Mavour (Lawrence).

The play presents their stories, one by one, as they share their experiences of knife crime and how it has affected their lives. Knives are a part of life for these young men growing up in London and Fox Hunting lays this bare. By allowing these characters the space to tell their stories and challenge each other the five tales tackle race, religion, postcodes, stop and search, the criminal justice system and the innocence, or otherwise, of these young men. What could be a dark and depressing 70 minutes becomes instead a tight piece of theatre, catching the laughter and remorse within the tragedies of shattered lives.

With nearly 40,000 recorded knife crime offences and 80 fatalities in 2017, and 2018 seeming to follow suit, knife crime is still one of the UK’s worst criminal issues, nowhere more prevalently than in London where it is still on the rise and accounts for more than a third of all knife crime offences UK-wide. Fox Hunting is an important play that deserves to be seen by a wide audience; there is some serious talent on show here; this is not the last we’ll see of these young men.

Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans
Photo: David Alade


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