Zak in the Box started life as an idea for a TV series but ended up becoming a stage play. It was originally offered to the Birmingham Rep but eventually picked up by Friction Theatre, for a production towards the end of 2007.




Michael James, Remote Goat 11/2007

If you venture into snowy central Birmingham only once this week, can I suggest you make your destination the Crescent Theatre? Zak in the Box is an exciting new piece of locally written theatre, covering the experience of five people undergoing 'talk therapy'.

Writer Robert Warrington and director Kerry Murdock should be proud of the first night performance of their actors and actresses. Roya Richards excelled as Datta and conveyed deep-rooted anger mixed with gritted teeth humour/playfulness in a completely engaging way, much to the constant disgust/affection of Colin Dunkley, who brought Zak to life with energy and passion. Rob Leetham, as Adam, also needs a name check for his understated delivery and Roger Jones has a voice that fits the role of Greg, the therapist, fantastically well.

The play touches on issues that many may find extremely painful. But you can, and you will, laugh throughout this play as well as ponder a little/lot. The Datta lilly scene is moving in the extreme, with Roya Richards' deadpan delivery contrasting wonderfully with her otherwise intense, aggressive and 'in your face' character.
 

The music's great too by the way. Has someone stolen a chunk of my vinyl collection? And if so can I have it back when the run finishes on Saturday? Just go and see it eh?


Congratulations to everyone, onstage and off.




Forward was a play partly inspired by the fibreglass statue of the same name that used to stand in Centenary Square. The play was sent to the Rep in the year 2000 but drifted in limbo until 2003 when the Foward statue was destroyed by arson. Shortly afterwards the Rep commissioned the play. It ran there for three weeks in early 2004.



Rick Wakelam, Birmingham Stage online 02/04

Forward is a brutal and funny family drama by debut playwright Robert Warrington. The play derives much of its power from the painful honesty of its characters. The dialogue is fast, funny and quotable and the voices instantly sound like people we know - clearly Warrington has a good ear. The acting is first rate, with Ged Mckenna excellent as walking volcano Tony and Robert Harrison as Mike providing a convincing portrait of dignity under pressure.

Terry Grimley, Birmingham Post 16/02/04

Truthful and promising debut.

Rod Dungate, Reviews Gate, The Theatre Reviews Site 02/04

Tough, witty, a play with attitude.



Diane Parkes, Birmingham Evening Mail 11/02/04

It is always refreshing to see new writing, especially from a local playwright, and Robert Warrington's Forward is firmly based in Brum. In this comic drama in The Rep's studio space The Door, the Forward statue creates a form of focus but the story is really about Susan's family. The relationships between her frustrated father Tony, her gay rap artist brother Kieran, her mum Nola and her aunty and uncles is so dysfunctional it makes the Osbornes look like your perfect neighbours.

There's plenty of humour but it's very dark - they raise the laughs but there is a sense of bitterness and futility there at the same time. Here is a family with so much potential which is tearing itself apart. But Warrington ensures there is a message of hope, because amidst all this madness there is still a love and connection which ensures that the family can keep moving forward together.