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Words tumble and flow from Thomas Pickles’ mouth, quickly drawing you in to the teenage, lust-filled, booze-soaked world inside his head.

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, he stands a metre away on a blank stage at The Hope Theatre and waxes (or should that be snips) lyrical about the perils of grooming his pubic hair before hitting the town.

The pressure is on for the Lancashire lad, who won the inaugural Adrian Pagan Playwright Award for this monologue entitled Dead Party Animals about the ’goldfish bowl’ experience of growing up in Burnley.

It’s a Saturday night and the lads are out in their best T-shirts, the girls with glossy, sparkling lips, the floor sticky with WKD.

Pickles blends finely detailed poetry – “we fall from the taxi like a pocketful of change” with foul-mouthed banter, slang and dark metaphors – “your kiss is a gunshot” and it’s easy to see the influence of Mike Skinner in his writing.

In the flashing lights of the club his brain begins a surreal slide into the darker side of teenage love and as his grip on reality begins to skew, visions from the past and present merge, T-shirt logos jump to life as sinister spectres and the object of his affection slips mermaid-like from his arms.

It’s a scenario many of us have experienced, so don’t expect any life-shaking revelations or shock twists, but this is a show about Pickles’ sheer joy in the English language and he uses it perfectly, capturing the verve of youth while avoiding sickly, diary-worthy poetry.

The story-telling is sharp and he keeps us with him in the moment, boldly maintain eye contact, enthralling us with the rhythm and flow of his voice and switching from narrator to inner monologue to role-playing.

The production may be small, but Adam Spreadbury-Maher’s careful direction, the striking lighting design from Seth Rook Williams and unnerving but well-balanced sound by Philip Matejschuk all combine to make this show hit you like a shot of Sambuca.

Pickles is one to watch.