Virgin territory

20th October 1995 at 01:00
Whatever else it is, My Friend Willy by Robert Rigby is a very funny piece of theatre whether it is parodying an over-breezy health educator advocating the use of condoms ("Get some. Practise. Think of it as homework") or its 15-year-old hero Kevin is admitting his virginity ("I haven't had sex. At least not with anyone else").

Presented by Norwich-based Tiebreak Touring Theatre and acted by a gifted young cast of four, it is touring schools this term with a London premi re staged by the Family Planning Association in December. It is intended for young people aged 14 upwards and although it focuses on "boys' problems", it will appeal equally to those who suffer their gauche attentions.

Kevin is tongue-tied and emotionally clumsy while his friend Willy (no, Willy is not what you're thinking) brags of his sexual exploits. Eventually, Kevin forms a caring relationship with Rachel but, in "flash-forward" scenes, a more mature Kevin reveals how he will wreck the relationship through neglect. The play is a little over-loaded (Willy's boastings are shown to be a cover for his homosexuality - with which he thankfully comes happily to terms) and there are some slightly preachy moments towards the end. That apart, it cannot fail to provoke constructive debate and nurture a sense of responsibility.

Tiebreak Touring Theatre, George White Middle School, Silver Road, Norwich NR3 4RG (01603 418524).

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