The Other Room continues to challenge with its second season, suddenly ‘Insomnia’ seems to hit the mark.
Nick Gill’s ‘Sand’, exploring and imploding, takes the stage and the space to its capacity. Designed seemingly as a corridor or bunker, Amy Jane Cook’s design and Katy Morison’s lighting design are truly aligned to mirror the multi-faceted story which unfolds.
‘Sand’ focuses on the development of detonation of a nuclear bomb. Beginning in 1942 when the Nazis detonate a nuclear bomb over Newcastle, the story moves back and forth across time, exploring impact from different perspectives.
Sara Lloyd-Gregory takes hold of the story, and the audience, as she leads this march. And how this monologue is delivered holds the audience. A nuclear scientist, responsible for the development of atomic weapon, paying a price- receiving news of the loss of their family. The involved spectator of a small boy on a swing. The text plays across time but always returning to this. The words entwined create a chilling beauty in a script entrenched in facts and the business of bombs. The delivery and contrasting emotion, leading to breaking point.
“And the world turns”, reinforced throughout this reality, as everything is stripped to the end point, to detonation, to yellow sand, and suddenly the purpose of Nick Gill’s title closes around you.
Sara Lloyd-Gregory, despite appearing as a last-minute casting due to unforseen circumstances, delivered her words with such precision, the script in hand for the most part could have simply been the papers of the woman’s uniform. The direction of Kate Wasserberg is perfectly calculated, the crescendo of the script is not over delivered but perfectly overwrought, the emotion created as the cold delivery moves from fraught to hysteria, is perfectly executed. The pace holding the audience, until sound, light and voice collide in conclusion.
‘Sand’ takes you with an intentional text, of opposition to nuclear weapons, but leaves you with more. Insomnia.
Disclosure: I was invited to the performance for the purpose of this review. All opinions and views contained are my own.