Review: Heroes

‘I haven’t got any shin pads… or a dad’

Heroes, written by double award-winning writer, Chakira Alin and directed by Dixie McDevitt, has plenty of hard-hitting, topical subjects packed into the two hours, but it will have you laughing-out-loud the whole way through.

Set in the backdrop of an East London council estate called Holly Grove, the play encapsulates life growing up in these areas. On the surface, Heroes can be said to be an exploration of fatherhood, football, and masculinity. However, the play truly deals with an amalgamation of serious and topical subjects. It did seem at points the play tried to deal with everything, referencing the care system, single-motherhood, Palestine, and Knife crime, but ultimately that seems to candidly reflect the environment in which the play was set. It also became a truer reflection of the experiences of the student body here, the play did not shy away from presenting something different to the usual middle-class Cambridge plight.



The heavy themes were always offset with some comic relief, that truly reflected the humour people often turn to when in difficult situations. The small monologue from Scab (Xander Pang) about the care system, not only was it hilariously accurate, it was dealt with so sensitively.

The only slightly strange addition was the character ‘Wiz’ who would recite poetry with a shopping trolley and a foil hat on. Whilst the lines were delivered beautifully by the ethereal Bex O’Connell, who also played Jonno’s mum, the inclusion just seemed slightly odd. Almost too high brow to be representative of the babbling local who wanders about an estate. Unless this is a common thing in East London and ‘the girls that get it, get it and the girls that don’t, don’t’?


Images Credits: Lotte Brundle

The swings and bench seemed like the perfect backdrop for the play – many difficult conversations from the play have been dealt with in real life on the local park swings or a specific bench. As well as the heartfelt conversations, especially about dads, that were bridged by the on-stage kick about. The topics never felt forced, particularly the discussion of fatherhood and longing for a fatherly role model between Jacob Benhayoun (Sol) and Yoel Mulugheta (Jonno), who both were brilliant. The use of the football as well, to transition between scenes, was a nice touch (pun intended.)


Heroes will probably leave you with tears in your eyes, a slight feeling of homesickness and a greater appreciation for your friends, who as the play said are truly the family that you find.


Heroes will be performed at the ADC Theatre between Wednesday 23rd and Friday 25th at 11 pm. Tickets can be purchased here

Feature Image Credits: Bernie Carter 

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