The Lowry, Salford – until 14 March 2020
Reviewed by Angharad Crabtree
Crongton Knights is a completely unique performance in both the story line and the atmospheric use of sound. The story is of (the magnificent) 6 teenage friends embarking on a mission together to overcome a modern issue (retrieval of a stolen phone containing inappropriate images), in the fictional yet familiar rough area of Crongton. This theme allowed the audience to relate any similar scenarios they may have faced in their past and empathise accordingly with the characters. It also tackles very real issues faced by young people in the modern day, such as violence, knife crime, family tensions and how technology can be used maliciously.
The use of sound, music and voices during the show were intrinsic in creating the mood and fully immersing the audience in the character’s emotions. The use of beatbox, rapping and acapella singing was not only a demonstration of magnificent talent, but created a great impression of alignment between the group, further enhancing the strength of their friendships. Fantastically complementing the vocal work, was vibrant and energetic dance routines which gave the actors the vivacious youthful edge to complete their characters. In addition, the colourful, rotating set is cleverly worked into the scene changes, and provides a reminder that their surroundings are somewhat unkempt and heavily decorated with graffiti.
Besides their outstanding vocal and choreographic elements, the actors also well represented their characters through great performance. The most notable performances came from Aimee Powell who played Venetia, well portraying a young woman in distress over an ex-boyfriend and also from Khai Shaw who played Jonah, who kept the audience amused with his quick one-liners and hopeless crush. All characters should be commended though, as all brought strong performances when diving into their own personal struggles, well contrasted through lighter, comedic interjections. My only criticism would be that some of the energy and attitudes of the teens may have been a bit overzealous. But overall, a fantastic performance with unique creativity whilst also supporting some important moral dilemmas of modern society.