Showing @ C Too – Venue 4 – 19:55 all fringe

“School days are the best days of you’re life.” If this is true, then why do so many of us look back on the experiences with horror, and satisfaction that we made it out the other end alive and still partially sane? After previewing in London, Kerfuffle bring a new musical by Tom Kirkham and Nicolas Bloomfield to Edinburgh. My Name is Richard shows us that growing up isn’t easy, but in the end we have to reach maturity and face the emotional turmoil that comes with the territory

Richard (Blair Anderson) is his name, it’s definitely not Dick. Unfortunately the other kids not understanding this isn’t his only problem. He’s been in love with Annie (Laura Jackson) for as long as he can remember but she’s going out with that prick Harry (Nic Zabilowicz) If that’s not enough, his home life is getting worse and his socially awkward tendencies brought on by his Autism are rendering him different from his peers. If he’s going to get the girl something is going to have to give, but can good really triumph over evil, especially with so much going on?

Bloomfield’s haunting music sets the right tone for the dramatic production, fusing well with Kirkham’s engaging direction. The menacing eye-contact with the audience bring us into the frightening world of the playground which our teenagers are forced to deal with on a daily basis. However, the dark yet humorous script can sometimes become too predictable and long-winded thus dampening the thrill we get from seeing such a talented young cast. Stand out performances come from Amira Matthews (Sally) whose powerful voice lifts the production to another level. Anderson’s portrayal of an Aspurgers sufferer is both comical and heart-breaking, which balances well with Adam Philip’s emotionally driven Ed, his brother. The “play with songs” is altogether well produced and depicts the dangers of society today. Growing up has always been difficult but in recent years, with knife crime on the rise, drugs readily available and hormones raging, perhaps this show is telling us to keep an eye out for the young. They may not seem to, but they know what’s going on and mature faster than we may give them credit for.