Wednesday, September 27

The Language of Kindness – Shoreditch Town Hall

“I don’t remember the doctors, I don’t remember the medicine, all I remember is the nurse.”

Arriving at Shoreditch Town Hall for the final leg of its three-stop tour, The Language of Kindness is a beautiful celebration of NHS nurses. Based on Christie Watson’s bestselling memoir of her 20 years a nurse, Wayward Productions present the touching true tale, embracing the seamless physicality of Complicité.

Directed by Sasha Milavic Davies and James Yeatman, the dance-theatre piece is simply gorgeous. There is a true poignancy throughout as the love letter production explores themes of humour, tragedy, and grief. Showcasing the work of hospital nurses and staff, we witness the emotions nurses both feel and impose as they go about their day-to-day job. The Language of Kindness highlights to us that nursing isn’t necessarily a career, but a way of life that is often overlooked.

Credit – Ali Wright

Soundscapes, voiceovers, and stunning movement expands the narrative and palpability of the production. Although moments of Wayward’s piece do drop in pace, we are utterly exposed to the tactile nature of nurses- in every sense of the word. A sudden narrator role seems random, somewhat limiting the momentum that is built and has encapsulated the audience

Each actor adopts their own style of physicality but are equally strong, succeeding with the powerful impact we can typically expect from a Complicité style piece. A brilliantly ensemble piece, we are surrounded in emotion. With both tears and smiles in the audience, this play resonates with all after over a year of lockdowns and trauma.

Including images and videos of NHS nurses and staff, while we witness Watson’s brilliant memoir play out, there is no escaping that this 75-minute piece reflects reality. Running until June 12th, The Language of Kindness serves as an exquisite and striking reminder that we cannot, and must not, forget the dedication, value and resilience of our NHS nurses.

“What’s the cost to nurses? And how little is it valued?”

Reviewer: Jessica Battison

Reviewed: 3rd June 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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