You know a play is dark, when you leave the theatre with that “i’m not okay” kind of feeling. You know a play is really dark, when you leave in a state of indescribable distress and an inability to articulate the state that you are in. If a play triggers me (especially if it happens on multiple occasions throughout its duration), I usually refuse to write about it. But. But, Nothing. Nothing is exactly that, it is something that needs to be talked about and experienced in all of its catastrophic disturbances because Nothing matters. Every dark tale weaved into this distorted, Rubix coated search for meaning, reminds us why we are here, why we matter and why we are more than our experiences. I am not going to go into detail about the plot of Nothing, but I will give you a list of some of the objects of reference (to meaning) in the piece and allow you to join up the dots: antidepressants, a hamster, a finger, a pair of trainers, a diary, a dvd box set, a t-shirt, a phone, a dog’s head and virginity.
In playing with levels, the elements, physicality and close proximity delivery, this production places the audience right in its centre. You are not the fly on the wall, but the fly free to roam the room and feel all kinds of sensations that you may or may not want to engage with.
Did I enjoy this play? No.
Is it an exceptional piece of theatre that breaks the mould and stays with you once you’ve left the space, in a very real way? Yes.
And for that reason, I do not regret experiencing this. It has pushed me to reassess how much my experiences matter to me and how I let them shape me. It has compelled me to think about what really matters because when nothing matters, everything matters. Nothing is to be commended for its challenging nature, a story that truly makes you ache and an amazingly talented cast.
P.S. Shout out to Annie Rogers who played Sophie – you made me cry.