Pleasance, Edinburgh
August, 2001

**** Dares to look intelligently at a shocking subject

This pair of intercut monologues are a world away from either tabloid hysteria or middle-class fudging about child sexual abuse.

Peter Morris is one of the most exciting writers to emerge from the student community in recent years - not because he has a novel vision or style of presentation, but because he brings a fierce intelligence and intellectual passion to bear upon a series of extremely sensitive subjects. His last Edinburgh Fringe show The Second Amendment Club dealt with a Columbine-style high school shooting spree; this year, The Age Of Consent tackles child sexual abuse.

One series of these monologues is delivered by Stephanie, a young single mother determinedly pushing her six-year-old daughter into showbusiness whilst believing that she herself is the victim. The other side of the coin is Timmy, awaiting his release from a secure youth institution and not a million miles away from the killers of james Bulger.

Morris has so much to say, but does have a tendency to remind us of that fact; also, now and again he puts clever phrasing above consistent characterisation. But even at such times he is still compellingly thought-provoking, and at his best, as he frequently is, he finds a chilling beauty in only hinting at the most shocking things.

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Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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