No One is Coming to Save You
Reviewed – 15th June 2018
“In excellent debut performances, Agatha Elwes and Rudolphe Mdlongwa portray two different personalities journeying through recent and childhood memories”
Produced by ‘This Noise’, a new, young theatre company, ‘No One Is Coming to Save You’ is one of six projects chosen as part of The Bunker’s ‘Breaking Out’ festival of world premiere shows. An original and provocative ‘duologue’ written by Nathan Ellis takes us into the minds of a young woman and a young father, both unable to sleep one night. In excellent debut performances, Agatha Elwes and Rudolphe Mdlongwa portray two different personalities journeying through recent and childhood memories, trying to make sense of life. The young woman overcomes boredom and loneliness by allowing her imagination to carry her away in vivid visions. The young man pulls himself towards his role as a father by searching for his own past feelings. Fluid in narrative and movement, their separate stories wind around each other on stage, illustrating the angst of young people with the prospect of their whole lives ahead of them in a world which appears to be steadily declining, something relevant to every new generation as they question their existence, purpose, responsibility and happiness.
The pictorial, uncluttered set design by Khadija Raza and Alice Simonato concentrates the action primarily in a small, central area, focusing our attention on the words, but allowing for some more expansive movement. The half full glasses of water and muted television, from the characters’ first description, are the only decorative features. Jessica Hung Han Yun’s lighting flows beautifully from evening to night to morning, though occasionally leaving the actors in darkness when they move away from centre stage. The sound design by Callum Wyles is of superb quality and clarity. A few odd moments of integrated movement (Lanre Malaolu) could work better with more consistency throughout, but the production is generally figurative enough without.
More than a sense of waiting, as described in the play’s publicity, director, Charlotte Fraser, creates an atmosphere of reflection and exploration. And more than two individuals living in social, political and economic fear (both have jobs and homes), Nathan Ellis’ writing comes across as an expression of personal conflict. ‘No One Is Coming to Save You’ is an entrancing show – confident, sensitive acting and direction, and creative set, lighting and sound. However, varied information about the intentions of the project are confusing; it conveys a mindscape rather than sends a message, but is engaging and stimulating for the audience.
Reviewed by Joanna Hetherington
No One is Coming to Save You
The Bunker until 7th July
Previously reviewed at this venue