The Bunker Theatre – until 7 July, Tuesdays and Fridays
Reviewed by Claire Roderick
Part of The Bunker’s BREAKING OUT programme, This Noise’s production of No One Is Coming To Save You is a deliciously satisfying and dreamlike duologue.
Agatha Elwes and Rudophe Mdlongwa describe the lives and inner thoughts of an unnamed young woman and man unable to sleep. Writer Nathan Ellis’s script swoops between poetic flourishes, ridiculously mundane similes and arch explanations of obvious points with great style, helped by the playful and funny, but mesmerising performances of Elwes and Mdlongwa.
The man is watching TV, but understands neither the language or the action, instead imposing his own fears and experiences on what he sees, always coming back to the metallic object in his hand. The woman is staring at a glass, then through her window, wanting to feel something. The man’s feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness are brought to a head as he watches his crying daughter – with some wonderful dialogue about responsibility and society’s perception of young black men. The woman’s life takes on a farcical but horrifying aspect as her attempts at social interaction with her co-worker are described. Her imagination runs rampant as the most bizarre, violent and destructive outcomes of everyday occurrences – as the two characters lives intersect watching two planes cross the night sky, the woman is slightly disappointed that there was no mid-air disaster.
On a stage of Astroturfed pallets surrounded by glasses of water – all half empty – the two performers reveal the characters stories with a confident and engrossing stillness punctuated by symbolic movements triggered by certain words. The effect is mesmerising and weaves a story of longing, political and social despair that ends with an uplifting reminder that a simple moment of human contact can bring hope and the confidence to be yourself; that amidst the atrocities of the modern world, every life is precious.