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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Brighton 2012 arrow And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
Published on Monday, 07 May 2012

3 stars

The Warren (venue website)
5-7 May, 4:30pm-5:30pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

 Parental Guidance. Under-17's must be accompanied by an adult.
 Warning: Contains strong language.
 World Premiere.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

The cosmic meets the human, and the personal meets the universal, in this interesting new experimental work from .dash theatre.  Drawing intelligent parallels between our own lives and the forces which shape our galaxy, it’s well-designed and skilfully presented by an engaging and confident cast.

The programme blurb threatens us with astrophysics, but there’s really no cause for alarm: the theme’s a simple and effective one.  As captivating narrator Shani Erez describes the birth, life and frozen death of a blazing star, we see the parallel tale of a sweetly geeky couple, and their flourishing and faltering romance.  It’s a neat idea, but everything which flows from it is thoroughly predictable; it would be a little more rewarding if the boy-meets-girl storyline contained one or two surprises.

The allegory, though, sings lyrically at times – never more so than before our two protagonists have found each other, and the mass of humanity around them is like a galactic dust cloud, “curiously large and curiously cool”.  That’s just one of the script’s many touching moments, made believable by a cast who feel utterly comfortable in their roles.  Nicholas Thompson deserves a special mention, playing his secretly-hurting character with an endearing vulnerability which made me want to stride onto the stage and throw a reassuring arm around his shoulders.

.dash theatre are plainly working towards a dynamic, technological style, with live projections and some electronic gimmicks run by a tech guy in full view on the stage.  They’re not quite there yet, and some of the tricks proved a little over-ambitious – though Erez wins considerable credit for improvising her way seamlessly around one apparent technical failure.  If they can raise the whole show to the level of the best bits, it’ll be compelling; as it is, it’s still an interesting adjunct to some high-quality acting.

In the end, though, the star was… well, the star.  As we heard more about its celestial journey, I grew inexplicably fond of our adopted sun, doomed to burn brightly and then, exhausted, collapse.  Describing its death throes, Erez’s voice cracked with emotion – and I felt a stab of compassion too.  Evoking sympathy for a star is no mean feat… and so, while And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out didn’t teach me much about the human condition, I did learn something new about our universe.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.