The new boy blinks into the glare of the spotlight, backpack slung over his shoulder.
As he looks anxiously to the stage, his schoolmates are illuminated, captured in everyday moments of teenage drama. His nerves are palpable.
‘Filament’ is based around teen film tropes and characters: there’s the cheerleader, the geek, the bad boy and so on. Jaw-dropping acrobatics and choreographed dance sequences capture the rollercoaster ride that is adolescence, from first love and jealousy to friendship and heartbreak. Coming-of-age milestones and emotions are represented beautifully through the movement of the human body, without a hint of dialogue (save for a well-timed screaming match).
The new kid on the block juggles his way into the clique, while the bookworm hijacks her own makeover by contorting her body and applying lipstick with her feet. A young girl’s desire manifests itself in a gasp-inducing aerial silk performance, and another expresses her betrayed anger with a surprisingly aggressive hooping sequence.
The soundtrack is a fresh mixed bag, with tunes ranging from Vampire Weekend and Kings of Leon to Rufus Wainright.
While the storyline isn’t particularly compelling and there are moments that feel a little trite, the boundless enthusiasm and astounding acrobatic skills of the young performers make for an enjoyable show.