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Streamed theatre review: I and You, Hampstead Theatre via IGTV - shouty but sweet

Maisie Williams is wearing the most amazing tights. They are a white, pink and blue Paisley pattern and are teamed with cut off denim shorts, stripey socks and a stripey long-sleeved top.

I&You Production Image5 Photo Credit Manuel Harlan
I & You, Hampstead Theatre. Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

It's the sort of thing I imagine myself wearing if I were a teenager now and the boldness of her outfit more than matches her personality. 

She plays Caroline in Lauren Gunderson's play I and You, a High School student who is housebound because of prolonged illness.

When Anthony (Zach Wyatt) a student at her school turns up unexpectedly with an English Literature project they have to complete for the next day she isn't particularly friendly.

Caroline has lived with her own mortality for so long that she has got so good at not caring about it, she doesn't care about anything. She certainly doesn't want any sympathy. 

I&You Production Image 1 Photo Credit Manuel Harlan
I & You, Hampstead Theatre. Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

But it's a protective wall, her means of self-preservation.

Anthony is an all-round good guy, who's awkward persistence and enthusiasm for Walt Whitman's Leaves of Glass makes Caroline lower her guard revealing someone who is creative, clever and fun.

It is a play about friendship, learning to live and making the most of what you have when the future is uncertain.

And, for the most part, is fun, amusing and sweet and carries you along at a nice pace.

I&You Production Image 5 Photo Credit Manuel Harlan
I & You. Hampstead Theatre. Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

Its weakness is that the performances tend to be a bit shouty at times in that stereotypical loud, brash, American way and it worked better in the quieter moments.

It seems to be a flaw in a lot of teen dramas and I'm not sure why teenagers have to be portrayed with such volume. 

The plot also felt very familiar, I've seen something with a similar premise on Netflix in the past year or so.

I and You is available for free on IGTV (Instagram TV) via Hampstead Theatre's Instagram account until Sunday night. It is presented in two parts one of 35 minutes the second of 55 minutes.

I'm giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️ and a half.

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