Trailblazer, Lakeside Theatre Studio, Essex University.

TRAILBLAZER is an entirely appropriate name for Twas Theatre's first major show - because that's exactly what they're doing.

Colchester's very first specialised Theatre in Education company are looking to break boundaries, excite young people with their craft and bring important issues to light in creative ways.

And I can see Colchester playwright Liz Fisher-Frank's debut play doing exactly that.

If I'm brutally honest for a public performance it probably could have done with a little more time in the drafting stage but there were some rather lovely touches and great moments between the two characters, Blaze and Peter.

They are youngsters from very different sides of the class track, stuck in a hospital ward, coping with devastating illnesses, and perhaps that was where Liz missed a little bit of a trick because for me I would have liked to seen a bit more of what it's really like to suffer an illness such as theirs.

There was too much on Peter's neglectful parents, which was a little cliched, and Blaze's younger sister, which I actually quite liked but should have been more of a sub-plot.

That said this is a play which is going to be taken into schools, performed in front of young people very much like Blaze and Peter, and so in that respect I can see it resonating extremely well with their target audience.

Both actors, Ellie Uragallo and Christopher Smith, did extremely well balancing the humour and emotion, so it didn't feel too overbearing in what was potentially very depressing subject matter, and overall director Matt Jewson delivered a piece he can be very proud of as his and Jenna Saiz's first outing in their exciting new project.

I look forward to seeing more.


Trailblazer is being shown again at the Theatricool Studios in Belle Vue Road, Colchester, on Thursday, May 19. For tickets call 07594 258027.