A tale of young love

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Jonathan Harvey’s uplifting tale of two 15-year-old boys discovering their sexuality got its first airing in 1993 - a time when the age of consent for gay men was 21 and the repealing of the Thatcher government’s Section 28 of the Local Government Act was still 10 years away.

Twenty years on, society is far more tolerant towards gay relationships but there are plenty of shocking instances of homophobia for the messages acted out here to be as relevant now as they were then.

It’s a simple and relatively uncomplicated tale. Ste (Danny-Boy Hatchard) has a violent father and brother and is regularly beaten - the bruises under his T-shirt testament to his pain.

He is friends with Jamie (Jake Davies), a shy young lad who is targeted by bullies and who lives next door with his mouthy barmaid mother Sandra (Suranne Jones).

They discover a mutual affection for each other and their first tentative steps towards a relationship are very touching.

Jones is a superb actor but her otherwise convincing portrayal of the feisty Sandra is let down somewhat by her accent - a strangled cockney twang.

Despite this jarring note, the cast, and director Nikolai Foster, should all be congratulated for creating such a wonderful piece of theatre.

Julie Marshall