Taking place within an unnamed 13-year-old protagonist’s bedroom, yellow corners is a riotously funny take on what it means to be 13 — never sure if you have enough friends and wondering how to make yourself a bit more interesting. Calima Lunt Gomez’s script is brilliantly well-observed, capturing ultra-specific moments of tween-hood that portray all of the growing pains of this age and boldly speaking for a generation of JLS-loving, casserole-hating, Blackberry-having Gen-Zers as a whole.
The writing is pithy and fast-paced, moving rapidly between scenes to reflect a wandering teenaged brain. Never once do you feel left behind. Instead, you are invited to laugh at, and somehow deeply empathise with, the protagonist as she shows you her diary, bucket list, and how she can cry on demand. Lunt Gomez does an excellent job at portraying the intricacies of the teenage condition, highlighting the confusion and discomfort of being this age and trying to figure out who you are. It felt viscerally relatable; your heart breaks for the protagonist and also yourself at that age.
Central to the warmth that yellow corners exudes is Stella Cohen, who plays the protagonist. She commands the stage for the full hour-long duration with seemingly never-ending energy and tenacity, portraying a hilariously accurate 13-year-old with her hair chewing and random violent assaults on her teddy bear. The audience is held throughout, always an impressive feat for a one-woman show.
Ultimately, yellow corners has a wonderful sense of familiarity and nostalgia to it that makes it an instantly lovable hit with anyone who has ever had the (dis)pleasure of being 13. I was simultaneously breathless from laughing and moved and left feeling a sense of connection to everyone else in the audience of students who clearly resonated with the piece as much as I did. Though you feel for the protagonist, yourself, and indeed anyone who might happen to be 13, you are comforted by the presence of an audience who have lived through it and come out the other side.
Following its preview run at the University of Manchester Students’ Union theatre, yellow corners runs at theSpace Triplex (Studio), as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, from August 14 to 19 2023.