Hope, Light and Nowhere
- Gareth K Vile
- 13 August 2013
This article is from 2013
Three men discuss alienation after an apocalypse
Consisting of a series of conversations between three men in a dystopian future, Andrew Sheridan’s script is well structured and he has an ear for the telling, brutal phrase. The three actors are professional, convincing and appropriately disturbing. Jean Chan’s sparse design evokes a ruined room in a derelict house within a decaying world. Hope, Light and Nowhere is a perfectly executed hour of despair.
Yet its influences are too clear: Beckett and Pinter bring absurdity and discomfort: the 1990s British neo-brutalist playwrights offer the violence. Life’s ugliness, the characters’ naive cruelty, a planet destroyed by an unknown catastrophe, leaving individuals to struggle and inflict pain on each other: it is so familiar, it is becoming cosy.
The cast get to shine, the words are eloquent dark poetry, the audience can be suitably chilled. Life may be meaningless, a jumble of influences and acts of savagery: enough plays have pointed this out that the shock and surprise is as absent as God. Sheridan is clearly a master of words and staging – and the whole cast fully inhabits their characters’ misery and anxiety – but to rehash these tropes is unimaginative, however fully they are realised.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 25 Aug, 5.20pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).