RUN by Stephen Laughton starring Tom Ross-Williams is a refreshing and vital piece of stripped back theater. One actor, barely any set, just a handful of stones for props and an unobtrusive soundtrack. But far from being austere, the minimalism of the production only serves to enrich the experience. Its economy allows room for Tom Ross William’s energetic performance as Yonni, a 17-year-old North London gay Jewish teenager, which is as endearing as it is impressive. Conjuring the imagery of Laughton’s visually rich script in a way which constantly catches the viewer by surprise. RUN beautifully captures the struggles, passions, and frustrations of adolescence, whilst remaining engaging from its opening scene to the last, some 65 minutes later.
Laughton’s lyrical, highly descriptive writing, which communicates the inner voice of Yonni, is slick and complex without resorting to cliche. His talent for combining believable yet colloquially rich language, whilst driving the narrative forward – and backward and sometimes sideways – is laudable. As to is Lucy Wray’s direction, which inventively and sensitively facilitates the script and takes it about as far away from a talking-head monolog as its possible to get for a one-man show. Ross-Williams explores every inch of the small stage making it somehow seem like a much bigger production than it is.
Above all, RUN is a cracklingly good story and this production deserves to be seen by as big an audience as possible.