With a growing reputation for the quality of its in-house productions, Oxford’s North Wall Theatre does not disappoint with its latest offering. In a co-production with Swedish Company Awake, North Wall has created an interesting, inventive and polished show that asks important questions about society’s relationship and responsibility to young disenfranchised males on the cusp of adulthood.

Song of Riots has two narratives that criss-cross in a bold and fresh way that banishes any suggestion of triteness. One thread is taken from the folk tale Iron Hans, concerning a young prince who goes through some very painful rites of passage to become an adult.

In contrast, the other is a contemporary story, follow-ing the struggles of Lucasz — son of Polish immigrants — who rejects his single-parent mother’s attempts to guide him and goes in search of both his father and his own male identity.

When the two boys’ lives transect it is explosive. They are drawn into a darkly vivid world of rough sleeping, drugs and violence, yet the seriousness of this situation is delicately tempered by a quirky humour.

The storylines unfold using movement, dance, and music. The coming together of all of these elements is flawless. Directors Lucy Maycock and Christopher Sivertsen have created something very special and the cast have matched their virtuosity with polished performances of the highest calibre, whether they are singing, rapping, performing complex movements or purely acting.

Jason Callender as the Prince and Christopher Finnegan as Lucasz give strong performances at the heart of the play. They are ably supported by Maria Sendow and Anna Krotoska as the powerfully defined mother figures, while Oliviero Papi, as the kindly King/ father is the perfect foil for Marcin Rudy’s truly scary bad dad, Adam (who also gives a spine-tingling performance as the folkloric Wildman).

The music, composed by Hanna Björk and Maria Sendow, is thrilling — with other members of the cast lending their voices and percussive skills to create a stunning soundscape. Alex Berry’s design combined with Matt Smith’s projections round off the whole production with a sophisticated construct that is impeccable.