Slam Dunk, The Nuffield, Southampton

BILLED as "a hip-hop musical" with the tagline "basketball, beats and brotherhood", Slam Dunk was trying very hard to be cool.

The teenagers making up the majority of the audience certainly seemed to think it was.

However, for anyone older, it's hard to see this as anything other than a triumph of style over content and a severe case of trying too hard.

Watching the play, which tells the story of a gang of boys who play a version of basketball - streetball - on their estate, one of whom goes on to play for the big leagues, it felt as if we'd wandered into a workshop production for schools.

The basketball choreography worked well but other than that the cast wasn't really up to the material. A lot of the rapping was embarrassing and several of the actors had a tendency to swallow their words at key points.

The story could have been lifted from any teen movie and conveyed a rather dubious moral message: that you shouldn't try to better yourself because your old friends might feel rejected but instead should carry on doing the same old thing and success will come to you.

As well as a lot of swearing the show contains some awful lines.

If you're looking for something to get teenagers to go to the theatre then this could be it but otherwise you might want to steer clear.