No Miracles Here (2 stars)

This article is from 2017

No Miracles Here

Gig theatre with a serious beat

Gig theatre can hide a multitude of theatrical weaknesses. No Miracles Here has a strong cast who double as musicians, an ill-formed metaphor for depression, a selection of dynamic, exciting musical numbers, a bunch of undeveloped female characters, a sweet central character in Ray and a conclusion that echoes Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's conclusion in Watchmen that all human life is a miracle in itself. The cast rock and dance their way through a plot that is slight, disguising the slender substance with energy and finesse.

Using the dance marathon as a metaphor for depression, or perhaps the cut and thrust of consumerist culture – it's never clear – No Miracles follows Ray's attempt to commit suicide through exhaustion. He meets a series of slight and symbolic female characters who variously fail, embody a will to succeed or offer sympathy, he comes to terms with his anguish through a final speech that suggests human life is itself a miracle.

The ensemble is tremendously energetic, managing to leap between characters and instruments with speed and skill, and the final dance off is a thrilling romp, and the action is powered by the band's top tunes: yet beneath this, the script has little to add on mental health or in dramatic tension, with only the protagonist receiving any depth. While the frantic movement and musical numbers suit the intensity of the dance marathon, the message is lost beneath the beat.

Northern Stage at Summerhall, run ended.

No Miracles Here

  • 2 stars

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