Twenty Something utilises the charm of sketch comedy to reach into the depths of high drama. A two-handed performance, the acting is truly mesmerising, and the writing perfectly mimics the speech patterns of Generation Y, in all its randomness and complexity.
The story follows a brother and sister, Noah and Maisy played by Lynton Appleton and Nancy Hall respectively, as they come to terms with the deterioration of their mothers mental health. However, unlike many dramas that delve straight into the dramatic twists and turns of a narrative with a sadistic glee, this is not a show about dementia; it is a show about people. The piece focuses on the relationships between brother and sister, mother and daughter/son, prioritising the setting up of a relational context, rather than focusing on gratuitous dramatic moments. This comedic focus of the piece contrasts beautifully with the darker moments peppered throughout, though in my opinion, the narrative occasionally gets a little lost or tangential; I would love to see this structure developed a little more.
Set is minimal, and we are largely transported between memories and current events through props and technical cues. These disruptions to the main narrative explore the development of the relationship between Maisy and Noah; growing up, supporting each other, strengthening ties; giving the current events of the narrative a contextual backstory, as well as allowing the audience to feel connected and protective of the characters.
Overall, Twenty Something is a beautiful and hilarious piece of tragicomic theatre, executed perfectly and acted brilliantly. It tackles a difficult subject with charm and subtlety, and is a definite must-see for anyone interested in either new-writing or mental health issues.