The recognisable life of a Leeds student collides with space-age absurdity for hilarious consequences in Open Theatre’s new play Peroxide. The action begins following a wild night out and Tahys Rodriguez, playing Sophie, and Mike Schenck, as Oliver, immediately thrive in setting the ironic tone that would characterise the rest of the play. For current or past students in the audience, we recognise all too well the clichés of exasperating the halls cleaner with our sloppiness, drinking beer excessively at any hour and making constant declarations about how tiresome our eight hours of contact a week are. All of this is satirised amusingly throughout.
‘Joe Kent-Walters fits the part of Indigo perfectly, always maintaining the wild look in his eye of someone who’s well and truly descended into madness’
Sophie’s boredom of first year is put to a drastic end when Indigo shows up with his eye-patch, pastel fur coat, twitching demeanour and futuristic gadgets. Joe Kent-Walters fits the part of Indigo perfectly, always maintaining the wild look in his eye of someone who’s well and truly descended into madness. The development of his relationship with Sophie is at times heart-warming and this was often explored through her brilliant poetry.
‘The use of television clips is brilliantly funny and creates a further sense of the locality of Leeds that made the play so great’
The plot unfolds and the nonsense follows suit. By the end, the play is completely sci-fi, but its comedy continues because the ironic mocking of students still subtly remained. Tash Bunting, as Ronnie, and Rebecca Rowlands, playing Rachel, played the perfect balance of rational thinking against Sophie who had clearly lost the plot. The use of television clips is brilliantly funny and creates a further sense of the locality of Leeds that made the play so great. Overall the play provides a futuristic, comical and entertaining take on student life.
(Image courtesy of Open Theatre)