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Mysterious Skin

Fresh from acclaimed runs in Dublin and Edinburgh this adaptation of Scott Heim’s book makes a short stop in London.


Mysterious Skin follows the parallel stories of two very different school leavers from Kansas, USA. Brian is a UFO obsessed nerd still living at home, Neil is a street-smart hustler recently relocated to New York. Despite being almost polar opposites it soon becomes apparent that the two share a dark past that has shaped their present and that neither of them fully comprehend. The play illuminates their intertwined history using a clear flashback structure which works very effectively for the stage, and provides a different take on the story from both the book and Gregg Araki's 2005 film version.

The young cast eloquently express very intense and complicated emotions which allows their characters, and more importantly the audience, to process and comprehend the internal and external journeys they are on. The two lead actors, Oliver Walker and Harry Bradshaw, beautifully portray the yin yang nature of Brian and Neil. Nicole Faraday who plays Avalyn, Brian’s friend with an agenda, gives perhaps the strongest performance as someone who is truly lost within a trauma she hasn't even begun to understand.

The play contains a number of brutal emotional and physical scenes and addresses subjects like prostitution, rape and child abuse with an honest, unflinching stare. But if you can handle it, Mysterious Skin is an incredibly rewarding and moving experience.

4/5

The final performance of Mysterious Skin at the Drill Hall is on 20th September. For more details and to buy tickets visit their website.

If you can’t make it to this performance we also highly recommend Scott Heim’s book which you can buy here, or the film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt available here.

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