The King’s Head Theatre explores sexuality, family and financial & emotional struggles in the debut play by James Corley. World’s End is based in London in the late-nineties where single mother Viv moves into the World’s End Estate in Chelsea with her seventeen-year-old son Ben, in hopes for a better life. It is not long before they befriend their neighbours, Ylli and his teenage son Besnick.
Throughout the play, Besnik (Mirlind Bega) is able to help Ben (Tom Mulligan) come out of his ‘shy shell’, through their shared passion of video games. Meanwhile. Viv (Patricia Potter) wonders if her actions were always in Ben’s best interest and Ylli (Nikolaos Brahimllari), an aspiring artist, attempts his painting ambitions whilst having his own problems understanding his son. All the while, Ylli is heavily focused on the current Kosovo War and how it is affecting his home country.
Corley has created some intriguing characters and this one-act play is well-paced. Mulligan gives a well-conceited performance as Ben while Bega’s Besnik is a little more rushed. Bega seems to speed through most of his lines and a miss a lot of the chances to show Besnick as one of the more well-rounded and mature of our four characters – which is a shame.
Potter’s Viv and Brahimllari’s Ylli both give strong performances and seem to work best when they are together. I wish I saw a few more interactions with these two. The same goes for the scenes that are solely Ben and Besnik – Corley is able to write strong scenes between two characters whilst the few scenes with all the four in aren’t as poignant.
World’s End may not excite you as much and you would like it to, but you care for the plot, its characters and the trying times surrounding them. James Corley has produced an interesting and captivating debut. He is clearly a talented writer who has a bright future. This is an original LGBT+ and family-based story that should be seen.
Words: Tomm J Ingram
World’s End is playing at The King’s Head Theatre in Islington until 21st September.