Wednesday, August 10

No Place Like Home – Unity Theatre

This energetic solo performance from Alex Roberts & Co. explores issues surrounding violence and hate crimes within the LGBTQ+ particularly referencing the nightlife culture.

The question is whether there are any safe places to be queer in our towns and cities, especially at night-time.

With the increase of violence within our community, I found this a timely and pertinent piece of work.

It would be so easy to stand up and rant on about the many ways that society fails to acknowledge violence and hate crimes towards the LGBTQ+ community but Alex Roberts & Co. have produced a meaningful and honest show that is far more subtle and thoughtful in its approach and appeal than most others of a similar theme.

Cleverly fusing both spoken word, video art, dance, and music we are launched into the story of two men who meet up one night at a club. One of the guys is new to the scene, the other less so and gradually their story unfolds towards a dark conclusion.

Roberts (who also wrote this piece) gives an exquisite and imaginative one-man rendition throughout and (from where I was sitting) he was entirely successful in holding the audience’s attention throughout. It is a performance that is both funny and tragic in turn.

I particularly enjoyed the sequences of movement and dance which enhanced the performance and added layers of resonance and texture to the piece. Virginie Serneels video design, which played a major part in the staging was bright and funky and a major plus.

As the name of the company implies this is a fully collaborative production. Cameron Carver directs with great aplomb and verve and Jac Cooper’s sound design is exciting and vibrant.

Co-creators Roberts, Carver and Cooper should be well pleased with the result.

The pace is sharp and tight throughout, and Roberts’s script has a strong and coherent rhythm to it.

I did feel however that some of the characterisation could have been more defined and nuanced in places, but this was just a small detail and it certainly did not distract from the overall success of the production.

The show, which has already won the prestigious Les Enfants Terribles Award 2022 is due to start a run at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Pleasance Dome 3rd – 29th August 2022) and it really is a must see! https://bit.ly/3PQrWnW

Reviewer: Kiefer Williams

Reviewed: 28th July 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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