Theatre review: Children of Mine
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Children of Mine at Venue 13, reviewed by Matt Trueman
It’s almost 50 years since a coal tip collapsed on a school in the mining village of Aberfan, killing 116 children. Time has not entirely healed the wounds. Before the Fringe, one survivor called for this youth theatre production to be cancelled.
Mark Jermin’s play stands in dignified memory of that day. It marks the negligence that caused the tragedy and the pitiful level of compensation (£500 for a lost child) that took 31 years to come. On a deeper level, it is a sombre metaphor for our social order: the thing that sustained a community for generations has robbed its children of a chance at life.
Children of Mine is tremendously moving, all the more so on account of its rough edges and young cast, who give astonishingly mature performances of vast emotional depth. Jermin’s dramatic techniques are the stuff of youth theatre – chanted timelines, clattering ladders – but they’re played so straightforwardly that they surpass their simplicity.
We mustn’t forget, but we mustn’t stop trying to move on. Children of Mine aims at both and it is one of the strongest pieces of youth theatre you’ll find at the Fringe.
MORE INFO: Children of Mine is at Venue 13
Originally published in The Scotsman