"Court, breach, mad with it, breach, mad with it, court, mad with it, court, breach or some variation of that..."
Crimes committed by young women have been increasing. No longer the fairer sex, girls are beginning to catch up with boys for breach of the peace, violence, and theft. Tagged follows two girls, Seanette and Lynn, who are caught in a cycle of reoffending and breaching court orders. The story follows their ups and downs whilst tagged on probation and explores the issues that cause young people to act out and the challenges that confront them when trying to change.
The ambition of this play is to highlight the challenges and the complications that young offenders are faced with after entering the criminal justice system. The play premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 11th - 13th August 2016 and after a successful three-day run the show is currently in further development with the plan to tour in 2017.
"Combined with some intense and beautiful lighting, the storytelling is truly powerful" - Fringe Guru ****
Fringe Guru Review
4 Stars ****
By Udita Banerjee
Performing in Edinburgh for two nights only, the piece of theatre follows the lives of Seanette and Lynn: two girls in their late teens who have fallen into a vicious circle, committing petty crimes, getting arrested, coming out on parole and repeating the same activities again. Tagged aims to explore some of the girls’ thoughts, what provokes them, and what keeps them from becoming the “upstanding citizens of society” who they speak of with disdain.
Holly Alexandra as Seanette and Katie Hammond as Lynn both put up stellar performances. Combined with some intense and beautiful lighting, the storytelling is truly powerful. I am partial to trance, and the music was right up my street as well. There are some elements of poetry, but – unexpectedly, given the programme listing – it did not define the performance: rather, it complemented the script well. I thought Lynn’s writing of “pomes” and Seanette’s derision at her reading them out was a very clever device, offering some lines to guide the audience’s thinking.
The themes are well-developed and run clearly through – from the lack of support that young people have when they are in a difficult position in life, to the failure of the system to provide guidance instead of judgement. The girls’ outfits and demeanour captured an echelon of society that is judged and shunned, but their struggles are brought out in a powerful way. The challenges that young women face when they are not quite children but not quite grown-up shine through.
Despite focussing on some very serious themes, the humour in John Stuart’s writing is spot on. It is suitably wry, sometimes candid, but mostly quite crass. Seanette comments “If I keep getting’ caught for shopliftin’, I’ll ruin my reputation!” But in Lynn’s case, the humour is more part of her personality, including her “doing a jobbie” in a bag of crisps.
For me, the one little hiccup came in the dance-like scenes – with no dialogue, just music and lights and movement. I felt that the coordination between the pair was slightly lacking, leading to a stilted feel, and it was also difficult to follow the dances’ role in progressing the storytelling. But that’s a minor flaw in a generally compelling and distinctive work.