REVIEW: WARHEADS (Park Theatre) ★★★★

This play is written by Taz Skylar who takes the lead role of Miles Weppler, an aimless young man who wants to do more with his life than sit around playing video games. Having met his new girlfriend Tena, he decides to impress her by joining the Army reserves. He persuades his friend Mory to sign up with him and despite not planning to do active duty, they end up being deployed to Afghanistan. On their return, Miles is a much changed man, suffering with post traumatic stress disorder and needing to see a therapist.

As the play progresses, the story unfolds in a non-linear way as the characters move backwards and forwards in time. Scenes showing Miles pre, during and post his tour of duty are mixed up, building the tension for the final scenes.

The staging in the tiny 90 seat upstairs space is minimal. A handful of small wooden boxes are used to create everything from the chairs and TV in the flat Miles shares with Tena and her friend Coby, to the look out points being manned by Miles and Mory in Afghanistan. The constant rapid scene changing as the characters move around the boxes and flit from one time frame to another, I found a little jarring to begin with and it took some time to get in step with the rhythm of the play, but once I did I found this a really interesting, well observed piece.

Taz Skylar as Miles is utterly mesmerising. His swift transitions from happy go lucky, cheeky chap to devastated, post tour shell of a man and back again, were extraordinary. He absolutely lives the character.

Klariza Clayton as Tena is excellent, switching between a young woman in the first throws of love to a devastated fiancée struggling to comprehend the changes in the man she loves.

Hassan Najib is really strong as Miles’ best friend Mory.

Sophie Couch and Joseph Connolly play the therapist and the house mate respectively and both give solid performances. I was surprised to see in the programme that this play marks the professional stage debut for them.

Craig Fairbrass plays the creepy Captain Deex superbly and I felt he was a touch underused.

This is a really well written, superbly performed play. At times it drifts into cliché but overall it is a very strong piece.

Reviewed by Emma Heath
Photo: Marcus Kartel

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