by Michael Ross
17 year old Callum is proud to be shy and he thinks you should be too, because what this noisy, crazy world needs right now is a bit more self-restraint. The Shy Manifesto is a bittersweet coming-of-age comedy drama about a shy boy who is fed up of constantly being told to come out of his shell.
Tonight he is to address an audience of radical shy comrades and incite the meek to finally rise up and inherit the earth. But memories of the previous night's drunken escapades at a classmate's end-of-term party keep intruding, and threaten to upend the fragile identity he has created for himself.
Callum delivers his manifesto, exploring adolescence, isolation, self-loathing and sexuality. His irreverent lightness of touch, and multi- rolling as the other characters in his story endear him to the audience, encouraging us that we, too, can be proud to be shy.
The Shy Manifesto is a solo piece that takes the experience of being shy as its central subject- something which has rarely been explored in drama, and yet which touches on many audience members lives.