When 15-year-old Sparky meets fellow problem-child Siouxsie the two bond over a shared anger and frustration at the world around them.
While the story is rooted in recognisable experiences of youthful disaffection and the effects of ADHD, The Static explores these sensations through angry phantasmagoria and manipulation of props, multi-media projections, sound and movement. Two large walls of lockers slide around the stage, dragging audiences abruptly and calamitously into the next scene. Tables, chairs and performers float, fly and crash into new positions and the projections are used to good effect not only depicting various backdrops, but also providing visual accompaniment to Sparky's fantasies.
The attempt to capture the onslaught of emotions is clever, both in the title of the play – the static being the strange, angry and almost supernatural energy he feels – and through the characters themselves. Sparky wears a set of large red headphones to block out his troublesome thoughts and when they are removed, things quickly unravel.
The story is clever though. It’s not content with merely exploring Sparky's journey, it seeks to expose a sense of societal discontent. The composed demeanour of the teachers begins to fray at the edges and there is an interesting subplot with Sparky's guidance teacher Mrs Kelly, expertly played by Pauline Lockhart.
This is not merely a morality tale of one boy but rather an honest and decidedly-Scottish exploration of discomfort and anxiety in all its forms. Fast-paced, in-your-face and darkly comedic, The Static is powerful and moving theatre.