Pass It On

The Garage, Norwich

The Garage, Norwich

Doug Lucie's Pass It On, a bittersweet meditation on class and adolescence, is one of eight new plays specially commissioned by the National Theatre as part of Shell Connections 2006. An annual event, the programme enables youngsters across the country to hone their theatre skills in productions by established writers.

The play is a series of snapshots, allegedly depicting how war impinges on the lives of different teenagers. Opening with intellectualising 1970s students Sarah and Nev, the action culminates in war-torn Iraq, where bellowing squaddies Glenn and Chris discuss geo-politics over the head of a captured prisoner. In between, sisters Monique and Kelly try to keep each other on the rails on an early 1980s housing estate, while the 1997 election is the backdrop for vacant toffs Giles and Becky's savage wittering.

The actors, from King Edward VI School, all cope impressively with what is at times an unwieldy script, and Abigail Kaye deserves special mention as the sullen Monique. With her laddered tights and pensively sucked cigarette, she could have stepped out of a 1960s kitchen-sink classic.

While the play is enjoyable as a collection of scenes, Pass It On's theme of the impact of war on young minds is too tenuous.