‘People are people. We’ll always find a way to mess up. Doesn’t matter who’s in charge.’

Callum is a Nought, Sephy is a Cross. In a world where Noughts and Crosses don’t mix, how can their friendship, and love, survive?

Based on the book of the same name by Malorie Blackman, and adapted by Dominic Cook, Noughts and Crosses tells the story of Callum and Sephy, through their own perspectives. Persephone (Sephy) is the daughter of Cross Prime Minister, Kamal Hedley, whereas Callum is one of three Noughts, who have passed the entrance exam and gotten into the all Cross school, Heathcroft. On their first day there, there is so much chaos and commotion and Sephy tried to calm the situation down, but instead makes matters worse. When Callum loses his sister, he finds out that his dad and brother are in the Liberation Militia, the group fighting for equal rights between Noughts and Crosses, who believe that ‘the end justifies the means’. When Callum learns that they have planted a bomb in the local shopping centre, he races there to save Sephy, without much thought to the consequences. Callum’s dad, Ryan, admits to planting the bomb and killing seven people and is about to be hanged when he is given a reprieve. He later dies when trying to escape, which sets Callum in the path for revenge. By this time, he has been removed from school, due to his father’s confession. Sephy, on the other hand, whilst not happy at home, due to her father leaving and her mother constantly drinking, is not happy with the suggestion she leaves for boarding school. However, when she realises that Callum is coming to rescue her and run away together, she leaves anyway. Then we jump forward a couple of years, Sephy is returning home from boarding school, for the first time, and Callum is now a member of the Liberation Militia. He helps his brother and their crew with a plan to kidnap Sephy. During her captivity, Sephy and Callum realise they have always loved one another, and upon her escape, Sephy finds out she is pregnant.

We were warned before this performance, that there had been a few issues and to be prepared that this might not be the performance they wanted to give, however, apart from a few technical glitches, there was nothing to show that it wasn’t a fully polished production. The set design, by Ellie Light and Phoebe Firth, was clever, with distinguishable difference between pre bomb and post bomb. The direction, by Monique Touko, worked well and you could easily see when characters were getting along, and when they weren’t.

Jack Sanders as Callum and Chuma Kafile as Sephy were ideal for their roles, you watched them grow before your eyes and the chemistry was there, between the switch of friendship and the feelings of love. Kofi Dennis was brilliant as Kamal Hedley, amongst other characters and Tamica Greenaway as his wife, showed the right about of sass and charisma needed for the role. The whole cast work well together to tell this story. Their emotion and empathy make you believe in the characters and will them to get what they deserve as the story unfolds.

It was an enjoyable evening, watching a much loved story being told through great acting and direction.

Reviewer: Jenn McKean

Reviewed: 8th November 2018

North West End Rating: ★★★★