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24th February 2022

Review: Nobody

Aayush Chadha reviews Nobody at HOME
Review: Nobody
Photo: Dan Tucker.

There is no doubt that Nobody is breathtaking and exhilarating, but by no means is it an easy watch. 

Often, one can watch a piece of theatre and forget about it. However, shows like Nobody leaves a deep imprint on one’s mind as it challenges the viewer to immerse themselves in the experience and invites them to make sense of it.

On the surface, the performance is an exposition of the tension between our inner lives and our attempts to understand the world around us. Through its dance-circus (a combination of contemporary dance along with the acrobatics of circus) routine, it invites the audience to experience for themselves the strain of trying to make sense of something that at first glance looks pretty apparent but somehow still feels strange and inexplicable – surreal almost.

Needless to say, the ongoing pandemic heavily inspired the plot line (if one can call it that) and pushed the artistic director, Kevin Finnan, to explore how the voices in our heads became more pronounced as we spent more and more time alone.

Ever since I got back, I have been trying “make sense” of what I saw, how the movements and the visuals created by Logela Multimedia fit into the narrative that was described in the program. I distinctly remember the set and the movements combining together to touch upon every feeling that must have passed through our hearts in the last two and a half years. On the other hand, I also found myself wondering, was that all there was to it? Unconsciously, I find myself looking back at my own experience of lockdown — the isolation, the endless scrolling through newsfeeds hoping for a sign that the ordeal has ended, the longing to see friends again, the endless anxiety for the wellbeing of near and dear ones — and realising, this is exactly what makes the show so brilliant.

In evoking these feelings yet again through dance, music and visuals, the show has succeeded in capturing a paradox — the shared experience of being in isolation. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop at that; in the second half, it goes on to celebrate the shared sense of community that enabled us to emerge out of the worst disaster in recent history, all the while acknowledging that not everyone was able to make it out.

This makes the show exceptional as it condenses the paradox, the ordeal, the pent-up feelings, and the collective joy of relief of the past 2.5 years into an hour and a half long performance, capturing the wide spectrum of emotions without relying on any dialogues but instead utilising a plethora of movements and a set that doubles as our inner and outside world to the point where the boundaries between the two are completely blurred.

Nevertheless, the biggest triumph of the show lies in its ability to make the audience introspect, to explore how our inner voices constrain us but also to make us feel hopeful about our ability to break free of them through the help of the communities around us.

Having said that, I still feel dissatisfied. I feel that in my attempt to box the performance into the descriptions I have provided, I have missed the chance to experience far more than I could imagine. Somewhere, I still feel my review (or any of the other available) doesn’t do justice to this evocative masterpiece, because as critics, we had remained so fixated on what to tell our readers that we completely overlooked the opportunity to hear our own inner voice.

Nobody is touring Europe and the UK until the 26th of May 2022.

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