“You’re not sure what’s real and what’s not”
You might say that it’s tough to be a teenager in this day and age. Add in being Jewish and also gay and there’s a lot to deal with, but the joy of Stephen Laughton’s Run is that this examination of these intersecting identities is never heavy-handed. It is as enthusiastically complex as the 17-year-old Yonni himself and directed by Lucy Wray, Tom Ross-Williams delivers a cracking performance.
Stretching just over an hour, Run covers the gamut from the thrill of first love (with Adam, at the ‘Jew Camp’ they both get expelled from one wet hot summer) to the challenge of balancing Orthodox family comforts with the rising anti-Semitism he experiences outwith his native North London community. And in Laughton’s prose, combining poetry and punch, Yonni’s life is richly realised.
It’s sexy and smart, funny and fulfilling, and Ross-Williams adroitly plays all the sides of his character as distinct but not distant in a way that is instantly relatable – who doesn’t still feel slightly like their parent’s child when in their company, yet completely different when out on the pull (or surfing Grindr…). Powerful solo work and intelligently probing writing – recommended.