Hope, Light and Nowhere (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

Hope, Light and Nowhere

credit: Richard Davenport

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).

Hope Light and Nowhere

  • 3 stars

Suba Das Company. A boy waits in a room at the end of the world. World premiere of the second play by Bruntwood Prize-winner Andrew Sheridan. Directed by Suba Das and designed by Linbury Prize-winner Jean Chan. 'A savage poem of a play: Andrew Sheridan is the most exciting new writer to appear in British Theatre in the…