Review: ADULTS

A dark comedy illuminating generational shifts and human connection

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic
Published 07 Aug 2023

Set in a brothel in Edinburgh’s New Town, Kieran Hurley’s latest play is an exploration of blame culture and the generation gap. Directed by Roxana Silbert, and featuring a stellar cast, this black comedy about modern living is sure to resonate with all ages.  

Zara (Dani Heron) is running a sex business, content with playing by her own rules. When her old teacher, Iain (Conleth Hill), unexpectedly comes through the door, for an appointment with her colleague, Jay (Anders Hayward), they are faced with reality in a way that neither of them are prepared for. 

They both defend their choices in life, convinced that the world they live in is to blame, while coming to terms with the fact that they are no longer who they were. It’s a reminder of how hierarchy is fluid, power dynamics shifting over time as pupils become adults and teachers grow old. The three characters are well-rounded and believable, each of them representing their generation in motivation, action and language (“My name is Jay and my pronouns are Pay Me”).

There’s good chemistry between the cast members, and the strength of the play is rooted in its ability to connect. Every generation shares common fears about ageing, parenthood, money struggles and loneliness but, stripped of our clothes, we are all just humans trying our best. In a world becoming less reliant on human relationships, ADULTS may just bring us a little bit closer together.