Throughout the semesters, we see the three amigos leading young and carefree days but the play edges the characters toward responsibility and their ultimate journey into the real world.
With the days and nights of partying set against life’s challenges, this kidult production depicts the struggle between reality and expectation.
Roger, played by the production-writer himself, expresses his desires and feelings through poetry.
At first, Roger appears to be an old soul trapped in modern life; a romantic seeking his happy ever after.
Yet, when a chance encounter leads to potential romance, he’s completely ignorant of Nicola’s affection and the gentleman we see in the opening scene is arrogant and brash toward her.
Likeable, naïve Jono, is dating Carrie and he confesses to the boys how in love he is and how much he misses her when they’re apart.
But his infatuation and hope of being together forever is misjudged when Carrie tells him she wants to see and sleep with other people.
And gay Scottish Billy, the only one of the trio who is actually studying, displays the persona of a lethario but secretly wants to commit to one man, Sam.
However, his only gratifying relationship is with heroine as he shoots up to experience euphoria.
For the boys, the final year in student accommodation is a time to explore
drugs, sex and the boundaries of their friendship.
Roger kisses Jono’s girl and a fight breaks out between the two, adding to the dark undercurrent within the play.
Tom Holloway’s show is based on real experience and it’s a moving insight into the opportunities perceived while at University verses the actual financial hardship, unemployment and management of friendships.
While the stage is set to the front-room of the house only, there was clever directing with scenes played out as if the fast-forward button had been pressed.
Knock Yourself Out boasts an impressive cast from the likes of Danielle Watson (Ginny) who’s starred in Wire In The Blood & This Is England ’86 to Jenni Herzberg (Carrie) who’s featured in Spooks and Doctors.
And for the launch night on Thursday 7 March 2013, there was an equally impressive audience with the likes of Olly from Made In Chelsea, Holby City actress Jing Luis and Eastenders actress Bunmi Mojekwu.
Knock Yourself Out runs at The Courtyard Theatre until 24 March, excluding Mondays www.thecourtyard.org.uk/
There are 2 for 1 tickets all weekend using codes: ‘Mouse Trap’ or £5 tickets on 12th March with code: ‘iambic’ for £8 Tickets until the 14th March.
Photo credit: Kit Oates.