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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage Review

Teen angst turns to violence in ‘Punk Rock’

A group of British teens hang out in their school library, discussing Skittles as a lunch choice, worrying about which university they’ll attend in the fall, talking about the music they’re listening to. But “Punk Rock,” playwright Simon Stephens’s portrait of teen angst, takes a disturbing and violent turn, and this Zeitgeist Stage Company production captures all the terror and incomprehension that go with it.

The seven individuals onstage represent a range of typical teens: There’s Cissy (Alexandra Marie Harrington), the overachiever who’s devastated by a B in English; Bennett (James Fay), her bullying boyfriend; Nicholas (Diego Buscaglia), the handsome jock; Tanya (Alana Osborn-Lief), the sensitive one; Chadwick (Alex Levy), the intellectual loner; Lilly (Emily White), the new girl; and the overeager and overimaginative William (Phil Gillen). None of them could be described as perfectly “normal,” but as William says, “I hate normal.” The most dangerous one in this bunch seems to be Chadwick, who, the group fears, may finally snap from Bennett’s relentless abuse.

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