This Is England

es in “This Is England.” Shaun’s dad died in the Falklands, and he has trouble making friends, so when a band of punk kids led by nice guy Woody befriend him, we are all worried. But Woody and the other outsiders actually care about Shaun and help him fit in by helping him dress cooler, make out with girls and giving him an outlet for tears and screams. But when actual skinhead Combo comes back from prison, the line is drawn: Party kids with Woody, serious kids with Combo.

 

Playing on the death of Shaun’s dad, and the boy’s need to feel important and proud, Combo leads Shaun into a life of early-Eighties English conservative nationalism and racism. You know, like a real skinhead. “This Is England,” which plays Thursday and Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, is a delight. Poignant, funny, sad and true, “England” takes a well-used plot scheme and churns out much more scathing, and effective commentary. NR

 

“”Joe Wertz

 

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