Spring Robin, written and directed by A. Tyrrell, presents the story of three students living alongside one another – Robin, Sam, and Jamie – as they traverse the challenges and everyday dramas of living in student halls.

The small cast of three does a great job at bringing these characters to life and have an excellent rapport. Sara Hazemi and Fintan Quinn as Sam and Jamie respectively are the more experienced performers and are clearly comfortable on stage, giving easy and naturalistic performances with impeccable comic timing. First-time actor Lois Wright succeeds in making the character of Robin relatable and sympathetic, and while they're a less confident performer, they show considerable promise. Tyrrell’s script, sensitive and amusing in equal measure, gives all three performers plenty to work with on both an emotional and a comedic level. While not every joke lands, the ones that did elicit large laughs, with Quinn especially demonstrating an impressive grasp of slapstick in his dealings with a clothes rack.

"A realistic, highly relatable depiction of student corridor friendships and dynamics."

On the technical side of things, the lighting and sound are kept very minimalistic, aiding the show by creating a natural, down-to-earth vibe. Each scene presents a snapshot of the characters’ lives over the course of the term, and the transitions – music playing over a fade to black, with a projection of the current date – are simple, efficient and effective, though the way in which the music suddenly cuts off and the lights go straight up can make the beginning of each scene feel almost jarring. Special praise must go to Set Designer Michelle Spielberg and Assistant Set Designer Ludo Tolu for recreating the corner of a corridor on-stage, complete with movable doors and flooring which accurately represents the carpet of student halls (eg. dirty and a bit grim). The Corpus Playroom is a notoriously difficult space to work in but both cast and crew make the most of it, using the set to create an intimate area in the middle of the stage. The actors work well in the space for the most part but perhaps some better blocking and more attention to angles could have decreased the amount of time the audience spends looking at the sides of their heads.


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The biggest asset to Spring Robin is the way all its elements combine to form a realistic, highly relatable depiction of student corridor friendships and dynamics – from the way the characters pop their heads round their doors to join in on their friends’ conversations to the notorious shared kitchen and the bizarre egg-related conversations, the show does a fantastic job at not only entertainingly recreating the unique weirdness and humour of the student corridor but also paying tender homage to the important and deep platonic friendships that develop in such an environment. More than once during the show I found reminded of moments I’d shared while living in a corridor last year.

Spring Robin is a touching and often funny portrayal of student friendship, and its casual and confident LGBTQ+ representation – particularly of the so-often-overlooked T element – came as a welcome surprise. While some elements could be polished up a little, the show is ultimately successful in bringing the farcical and awkward, but also dense and emotional, world of the student corridor to the Corpus stage.

Spring Robin is on at the Corpus Playroom from 21st to 25th January.

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