From Page to Stage: Pigeon English


I am a *huge* fan of going to the theatre, and I was recently offered the opportunity to go watch an adaption of Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English, one of the books that I am studying for my English Literature GCSE exam (which I am sincerely trying to pretend it isn't going to happen). Of course, being a fan of the theatre, I booked myself a ticket, not only being excited to watch one of my favourite books of 2016 coming alive but as there are hardly any revision guides for Pigeon English, I thought that seeing this performance would be a good opportunity to have a little bit of revision.

I can honestly say that I wasn't disappointed. 

When it comes to novels I like being adapted into movies, TV shows, etc, I get very wary as I know that sometimes (not always) it is never faithful and alternative storylines are created, or important sections of the plot are missed out, however, with the National Youth Theater's adaption, I was overwhelmingly impressed. I thought that all of the key moments that were in Kelman's novel was included within the performance, making it truer to the book, and, overall, much more enjoyable to watch. Whilst I knew what happens in the plot, you could say that I was mesmerised by the way that this was performed, and I completely forgot what happened, it was like I was being exposed to Pigeon English for the first time. This was a phenomenal thing to happen, I don't think that the National Youth Theatre could have done it any better, the actors were wonderful, they brought their characters alive and it helped me gain a deeper insight into how the cast in the book actually were. 

Pigeon English mirrors some of the facts from Damliola Taylor, a young boy who was sadly murdered in 2000. Although, whilst Damilola Taylor's case occurred in real-life, and Harrison Opoku's (the protagonist in Pigeon English) tale is fictional, the similarities between their stories are similar. The book and the play clearly highlight these similarities, making it more realistic and eerie to watch. This, in turn, made it more enjoyable to watch, as many of the themes from the book still occur in our society today,

By the end of the performance, I was a mess. I became so attached to these characters once again, and by the end of the play, I burst into tears. It was such a beautiful performance, and I am so glad that I was given this opportunity to see it. Honestly, I hope that this play gets the recognition it deserves, it was honestly one of my favourite adaptions and, hopefully, I'll get to see it again in the future. I highly recommend that you see it whilst it is still on at the National Youth Theatre, I can assure you that you won't be disappointed with what you see. 

I cannot recommend this play enough, and if the National Youth Theatre performs Pigeon English again, GO SEE IT! Oh, and if you need proof that I was a mess well...

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