One Way Out at Edinburgh Fringe ★★★★

One Way Out at Edinburgh Fringe ★★★★

★★★★ One Way Out | Underbelly Cowgate | Aug 10-13, 15-20, 22-27 | 2:15pm

Theatre Peckham’s first resident company NO TABLE Productions present an engaging snapshot of the challenges facing young British Caribbeans in Britain’s hostile environment.

Ironically founded as part of the government’s Kickstart Scheme, NO TABLE Productions take an energetic yet hard-hitting look at broken Britain through the eyes of four young men arriving at a key crossroads. 

Peckham teenagers Devonte, Tunde, Salim and Paul are nearing the end of their A-Levels. The future for some of them seems set: uni for Tunde, the family business for Salim. For Devonte and Paul, it’s less clear what they do next. Devonte could knuckle down at school, and maybe Paul could take up magic performance. Or maybe these are just pipe dreams?

For Devonte, the challenges are multiple – his mum is on dialysis, and now there’s a letter from the Home Office asking for evidence of his right to remain in the UK.

Exploring the various pressures heaped upon our youth, whilst ongoing austerity measures strip away support services and networks one by one, One Way Out shines a light on how this whole country has become one festering hostile environment. It’s kind of a miracle that anyone survives, let alone thrives.

Through it all though, a bond of brotherhood somehow flourishes between these four young men – proof if proof were needed that humanity can and will win out in the face of adversity.

A young, up-and-coming cast deliver this hour of theatre with energy and verve, every line feeling fresh and just-thought. There’s no flicker of doubt that Devonte, Tunde, Salim and Paul haven’t grown up together, know each other inside out. A tight script is delivered faultlessly, even in the face of a booming sound system elsewhere in the warren that is Underbelly Cowgate.

There’s a birthday to celebrate, futures to imagine, and everyone’s invited. But can we all stay?