Monday, 25 June 2012

Journey to X

Tiana-Sharlotte Parry, Young Journalist, at Day 3 of Connections at the NT

My experience of ‘Journey to X’ by Nancy Harris started in the dress rehearsals. Although the cast are all around 16 and 17 they slip into their younger roles very easily whilst maintaining a professional attitude, unless someone gets the giggles obviously. The honest bond and camaraderie between the teens shows through when they begin rehearsals and they flow through the script despite a few little hiccups in a way that makes me excited to see it all again a few hours later.

Journey to X. Photo: Simon Annand
The play centres on a group of Irish 14 year olds that are desperately trying to get to a talent show audition in London to become big stars, or so it first seems. What unravels is a tale of friendship and pushing the boundaries of youth with a political message on abortion thrown in for good measure.
Despite some opposition to the subject matter in their home town, MorePies Productions made it to the National. All the rehearsals were done and after some pretty hilarious vocal warm ups (read: pretending to be a hoover) it was finally show time for ‘Journey to X’ at the National Theatre.

The simplistic set means that it is the plot and dialogue that make an impact on the audience without any visual distractions. The play manages to be funny despite its subject matter and the cast as a whole pulls off a performance worthy of people twice their age. The dialogue is raw and believable without falling into the traps of being stereotypically adolescent which makes the production feel true to life and impossible not to emotionally invest in.

Journey to X, Photo: Simon Annand
The fact that the subject matter of abortion is mostly just hinted at and subtly talked about throughout the play means that the audience is allowed to feel as if they are watching something personal, I know that sounds a little creepy but it actually makes you feel very involved and emotionally attached to the characters. The audience isn’t spoon fed information and this gives the production a certain realism that I relished.

It is very easy to forget that these actors are young teens and so not as experienced as a lot of actors that have walked the boards of the National in the past. The use of body language is fantastic and overall the cast thrives off the energy of one and other to create an hour long performance that is emotive in so many different ways. This is a play that confronts adult topics with the naivety of youth and strikes exactly the right balance between the two thanks to both great writing and stellar performances.


  1. Very good show , the young actors were brill , would love to have seen it a second night or get it on DVD , well done to all involved , hope you do another show , looking forward to it already , keep up the good work you are all stars.

  2. My name is Joseph Wells, I played Joey, the girls male friend in this production with morepies. And this really made my day.I'm reading this comment two years on, and I'm glad you enjoyed the show. I was just thinking about the show when I decided to Google it. It was without a doubt the best production I have ever been in with such a great cast. I'm so glad I got the chance to play Joey, he, even now means the world to me. And now I'm planning drama school auditions and praying for the best, that's what set all this off you see, its why I was thinking about it. But this has made my day, thank you so much! Its restored my hope reading this review and that comment, maybe I can do drama school after all... and I'm ready, for what? Whatever's coming next.