Scorch at the Pavillion Theatre: A ReviewSiofra Ni Shluaghadhain reviews Scorch at the Pavillion Theatre, a powerful one-man show that questions aspects of society that many of us take for granted.[br]What do you say when you don’t quite know who or what you are? This is one of the many pressing questions posed by Scorch - a one-person production. Written by Belfast playwright, Stacey Gregg, and executed with a naturalistic flair by Amy MacAllister. Scorch was awarded the Irish Times Theatre Best New Play Award in 2016.
What do you say when you don’t quite know who or what you are?In its 55 minute run, the audience are brought through the experiences of Kes,a troubled teenager, told in their own words. Scorch is a provocative piece that digs deep into some of the biggest issues of our time, regarding gender, sexuality and disclosure. Kes (MacAllister), like so many other young people, is in flux. Through the lens of a support group (the audience), Kes tells their story with frankness and unflinching uncertainty, and honesty.“I’m just a dude... Maybe not trans. Don’t know. Haven’t worked it out yet.”And so it goes. Throughout the play, Kes explores and toys with ideas of identity and the self. To their parents, they are an unidentified girl. To their girlfriend - then ex - then accuser, she is he. Sometimes, hood up, lights down, head bowed, Kes is a boy, then a fraud. In between, there is a perception of self, sometimes “boy”, other times “boi” (“That’s queer slang for cute girls that look like boys”, as Kes tells the audience at one point) shifting and changing as they attempt to find somewhere that fits.
It is a story tackling with honesty, and most importantly, humanity.It is a story tackling with honesty, and most importantly, humanity. The play is carried by the dual talents of MacAllister, and the superb technical design of the team at Prime Cut Productions. It is thought provoking in that it raises more questions than it answers. Maybe Kes is guilty, maybe they are innocent? In the end, there is more to be said for the telling than for the truth.Scorch is currently on tour in the UK and Ireland. Check http://www.primecutproductions.co.uk/ for dates.