Players Review: I Have A Secret, Best Friend

Hello! What’s a ‘Freshers Fest,’ and do I want to catch it?


Every year Players begin their impressive and extensive programme of plays with a series of productions whose casts are made up entirely of students who have never been in a Players show before; so, mostly Freshers, but you get the odd Senior Sophister who wants to give it a try before they leave as well, which is lovely.

And yes, you do want to catch it. All the plays in this year’s festival are sure to be great, and to begin the cycle we have this outing that I am here to talk to y’all about.

Who are you?

Me, Hugo.

Editor, Third-Year Drama & English student, and yet to ride a unicorn.

Who directed this play, ‘Hugo’?

Martha Grant and Claudia Kinahan. Claudia also wrote it.

That’s cool!

Yeah it is.

Do you wanna, maybe-

Yeah! Sorry!

The play concerns five young-adults dealing with their stuff. Being people. The occasion is a birthday party, and when the alcohol begins to flow, so do their secrets – though, not to each other. The play switches between their banter as a group – drinking, Snapchatting, singing Wheatus, hiding from Freddie’s parents, and so on – and each character’s individual monologue, in which they reveal their motivations and fears to the audience.

Claudia tackles a plethora of issues in this play, and her greatest achievement is the honesty and courage that she has poured into her writing. Writing is a difficult and personal endeavour, and it is far too easy to critique it in a way that will extinguish passion and stunt potential… Therefore, I will tread carefully:

No, I do not think Claudia’s play was perfect. Far from it, in fact. I was upset by all the mixed metaphors and lazy pararhymes. A monologue does not have to be written like a piece of Spoken Word (IT DOESN’T?!). But this is what creation is about. This is what Players is about. Trying. There is always something beneath the surface, and there is dignity and truth and relevance to be found in this play, and that is far more compelling than perfect iambic pentameter written by some white man who died several hundred years ago.

No, Claudia, you are not Voltaire. You are Claudia.

It’s not perfect, but it’s yours, and that’s awesome.

There was a silly turtle joke; there were some beautiful sentiments (“People don’t get married for nothing”); there was a Frantic Assembly-esque dance routine to one of my favourite Bombay Bicycle Club songs, garnished with touching glances between the actors amongst all the movement; there were terrifying insights, especially in Freddie’s fear that he will strangle a girl while taking off her bra. I had the same fear – Jesus, I HAVE the same fear.


The play also asks some interesting questions about the changing nature of our relationships in iPhoneland [Planet Earth]. The dialogue often centres around the characters’ shared experiences with technology, and their communications with people outside the room on their mobiles, whether it is their friends they are seeing at The Academy later, or a potential Tinder-BF Emma is thinking of meeting IRL.

Is it really that weird to meet someone over Tinder? Is this hyper-connected way of life ‘better’? Is it easier to be a teenager with an iPhone?

What do I know, I’m just Hugo?

Well, thanks for that, very enlightening, sure. Should I go see it then?

If you have a spare hour, why not, friend?

AND REMEMBER! If you would like to write a review and see a Players show for free, please get in touch!


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