Overview: Banter Jar, Lion and Unicorn Theatre

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Theatre is stuffed with reveals on psychological well being. Some provide deep, considerate views; some deal with very particular facets; many focus entire reveals round them. And generally a present comes alongside that doesn’t profess to know the reply: it simply units out to point out how regular having psychological well being points might be, and that generally there isn’t far more you are able to do to resolve different folks’s issues, besides simply be there, able to make pancakes at 3 o’clock within the morning. As a result of pancakes make you content proper? Hannah Baker’s ever-so-lovely Banter Jar actually is that present. Baker is a bundle…

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Good

A beautiful, right down to earth coming of age story as we watch a teen realise that we will’t resolve everybody else’s issues; all we will do is be there able to make pancakes.

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Theatre is stuffed with reveals on psychological well being. Some provide deep, considerate views; some deal with very particular facets; many focus entire reveals round them. And generally a present comes alongside that doesn’t profess to know the reply: it simply units out to point out how regular having psychological well being points might be, and that generally there isn’t far more you are able to do to resolve different folks’s issues, besides simply be there, able to make pancakes at 3 o’clock within the morning. As a result of pancakes make you content proper? Hannah Baker’s ever-so-lovely Banter Jar actually is that present.

Baker is a bundle of pure vitality and pleasure. Dare I say, there may be greater than a little bit Jodie Whittaker in her as she leaps round. I half anticipated her to tug out a sonic screwdriver and declare every little thing is sensible. Each inch of the Lion and Unicorn’s stage is utilised round her. One nook turns into her busking spot outdoors Poundland, whereas on the entrance is the place she drops the mattress to, , “do it” with new boyfriend Zeck. And lifeless centre, a chair turns into the bus, because the pie man shouts out his query of “who ate all of the pies?” In every single place else, she leaps and dances round in, as if the stage actually is the most popular membership in Coventry – no less than from the angle of a naïve 18-year-old.

As a result of that’s what Baker is on this story; simply finishing A-levels, enthusiastic about life, a little bit naïve and attempting her best possible to be good. Why else would she continuously give away the 5 kilos she will get while busking, to a homeless man? And the story she tells us is all true. Ish. It’s her coming-of-age story as she navigates all of the issues regular 18-year-olds undergo; relationships, intercourse, eager to be preferred by the best woman at college, extra intercourse, events – the record!

What’s so refreshing in Baker’s story, although, is how matter of reality all of it sounds, taking every little thing in her stride as if it’s all completely regular. And in some ways, it most likely is: these are age outdated points we’ve all confronted in a technique or one other, and she or he by no means makes a lot of a drama out of them, as an alternative guiding us together with each wit and moments to replicate. She subtly drops point out of self-harm into the dialog as whether it is only a factor all teenage ladies expertise, as a result of it’s extra widespread than we want to imagine. Though she later discovers that for some it’s a complete lot extra critical than the little cuts she does to really feel extra alive.

Then there may be the psychosis that her thrilling new boyfriend suffers, and which in her naivety she believes she will be able to resolve. As with every little thing else, it’s not pressured into the narrative, it’s eased in gently as simply one other a part of rising up and studying she can’t resolve everybody’s issues.

Baker is a pleasant entertainer and, as Banter Jar demonstrates, an amazing storyteller. We see her develop up from naïve, wide-eyed teen to, properly, rather less naive! Her parting phrases –  that it’s not your job to maintain somebody alive; all you are able to do is be there to make pancakes at 3am –  actually sum up what she has learnt on this journey, as she lastly departs residence to go to college. It’s a stunning, easy sentiment and one which many extra of us may benefit from realising. As a result of sure, pancakes actually might be the very best, can’t they?

Written by: Hannah Baker
Directed byChris Larner

Banter Jar performs at Lion and Unicorn Theatre till 14 Might. Additional info and bookings might be discovered right here.



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