An Afternoon with Broken Biscuits at Live Theatre

I do have to start by saying this is not a 'theatre review' but an account of a lovely afternoon out that involved a trip to the theatre!

Secondly, I first heard of this new play Broken Biscuits, written by Tom Wells, when working for Live Theatre launching this current season. It was still in the early stages but sounded interesting, then the writer spoke about it at the press launch and the softly spoken and shy Tom intrigued me. His passion for his new play and the focus on optimism when you aren’t perfect, meant it was definitely one to watch out for.

Just before the play opened I was lucky enough to win two tickets via Twitter. So we organised childcare (it is suitable for over 12s but does include some swearing) and headed to the theatre one Saturday afternoon to see the World Premiere matinee performance of Broken Biscuits. 

Live Theatre is located on Newcastle Quayside, just a stones throw away from the River Tyne. The theatre is a beautifully restored and refurbished complex of five Grade II listed buildings in a unique historical setting, and earlier this year opened the new Live Garden. By producing and presenting new plays, Live Theatre finds, nurtures and trains creative talent.

If you haven't been to Live Theatre the Atrium Bar is right outside of the Main Theatre and you can take your drinks into the show - we handily had cabaret seats - which meant we had our own table and a great view of the performance. Behind the cabaret seats, there are rows of comfortable fixed seating and a balcony with more seating upstairs.

This is a Live Theatre co-production with theatre company Paines Plough, who commission new plays to tour across the UK. Broken Biscuits is a coming of age play about three teenagers who are definitely not the cool kids. It's all about their hopes, dreams and insecurities.

But quite honestly how many of us are cool people. Similarly to why I love the TV show 'First Dates', this play demonstrates that most of us, no matter how old we are, aren't cool, aren't uber-confident and supermodels, but instead are awkward, geeky, shy, just trying to be happy in our own skin and making mistakes and mates along the way.

Losers. Nobodies. Misfits. Are all words used throughout but really it boils down to the friendship that develops between three teenagers growing up one summer whilst singing in a shed.

Ironically, I'm not that big a fan of musicals but I do enjoy plays that include music. I'm still an indie kid at heart and all I could think of listening to their songs was that Holly's could easily have been recorded for Sarah Records and Bens song wouldn't have sounded amiss on the C86 compilation that I loved as a teenager.

This, however, is a coming of age play, suitable for people of all ages. The script is heart-warming, endearing, insightful and funny. The cast is amazing. The stage set adds to the performance and the music just so listenable. We left the theatre smiling and with a warm glow. 

As well as being thoroughly entertaining, the afternoon was also a look into the future and a reminder of how teenagers see the world. I would love it if my boys when they become teenagers aren't that bothered about being cool but have great friends, are happy with who they are and express themselves by playing in a band - even if they are not going to top the charts!.

Cost: Ticket from £6 - £22
Time: A very enjoyable 1 hr and 30 mins
Boys Club Rating: What can I say it's got unicorns, sparkly dresses and a soundtrack that I'd happily download. Go see it. Whatever your age you won't be disappointed.

Broken Biscuits is at Live Theatre in Newcastle until October 22 when it embarks on a national tour taking it to Plymouth, Hull, Scarborough, Sheffield, Bristol and Birmingham.

Production images supplied by Live Theatre.