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  • Writer's pictureRosie Sharman-Ward


🎭 Protest

📍 The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2TR

🗓 Thursday 7th March 2024



Brightly coloured, bursting with energy and, on the surface, simply written Protest is a smart, snappy, thought-provoking show. Aimed at 8-13 year olds, it introduces us to three young people from primary school, each of whom are beginning to find the world a puzzling and contrary place. 

Alice who can outrun anyone in the school, boys or girls, but struggles to gain a place on the team –why? 

Jade coming across racial slurs and bullying for the first time – why? 

Chloe whose beloved forest haven is filling up with rubbish – why? 

Three youngsters emerging from young childhood, trying to make sense of the world, discovering that things need to change. Life it seems, is not fair. As their stories interweave in short staccato sentences, their home lives and families begin to reveal themselves. We meet their support networks, Mums and Dads, Grandparents, brother and besties. We start to inhabit their wider society of neighbours, teachers. Each child delivers a burst of information then skips off leaving us laughing or devastated as the next child pours a little more of their story into the mix, their emotions openly on display. We see anger, hurt, confusion and a growing sense of injustice. 

Hannah Lavery has written something very clever. Listening to audience comments afterwards, where the adults said, “Brilliant, Wonderful, Interesting” the children commented, “I will do something for climate change, I will walk to school, I will do something small to change the world!” I would say that it has therefore hit the target! It is a tender portrait of the three children, we really feel we get to know them and can empathise with their feelings. Having been fortunate enough to work with primary age children I know how tenacious their beliefs are, how angry at injustice, how passionate about issues that concern them. Sadly, I have also witnessed how easy it is for society to squash this burgeoning consciousness. Protest will help empower those lucky enough to see it, I hope they take it into schools. 

I have the usual squirm of discomfort at adults playing children and some of the passages of sudden running around did not really gel but then it is not written for me. It did not detract too much from the show’s overall message, however. 

When you leave at the end of a show with slogans such as, “Be Kind”, “ Show Racism the Red Card” and “Our Special Home” running through your mind you realise something important is happening. The next generations are continuing the battles for a better, fairer, cleaner, kinder future and that fills me with hope. As we have been informed tonight Hope is a Superpower! 

Rosie Sharman-Ward 

All views are my own and I pride myself on being honest, fair and free from influence. Theatre is subjective and it is important to remember that all views expressed are just those of one reviewer.  

My ticket for this performance of Protest was gifted by the Theatre Royal Plymouth who invited me to watch the show in exchange for my honest review. The fact that my ticket was gifted played no part in the content of my review or the star rating given. 


Alice – Kirsty MacLaren; Chloe – Amy Murphy; Jade – Harmony Rose-Bremner 


Writer Hannah Lavery; Director - Natalie Ibu; Set & Costume Design – Amy Jane Cook; Lighting Design – Ali Hunter; Sound Design - Novasound 

RUNNING TIME (approx):

1 hour 10 minutes, with no interval


Haze, flashing lights and loud music and noises

The Theatre Royal Plymouth is the principle home of the performing arts in the South West and is the largest and most attended regional producing theatre in the country. Their mission is to develop and deepen people's engagement with pioneering creativity in Plymouth and the South West, delivering experiences that spark delight, expression and fulfilment. The venue offers three performance spaces of various sizes, the largest being The Lyric which accommodates the big touring productions. The Drum and The Lab are smaller, intimate spaces and often offer pioneering productions.


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