Nathan Ellis' play states that No One Is Coming To Save You. As the world sleeps, two characters navigate the fuzzy in-between. Daniel Perks reviews:

There’s a Kieran Hurley, Heads Up, or an Alexandra Badea, The Pulverised, style to No One Is Coming To Save You. In so many ways, it’s a play about waiting for an impending doom. Nathan Ellis frames this two-hander as a third person narrative, the seemingly separate storyline of nameless individuals caught in those misty hours between asleep and awake. The middle of the night becomes pre-dawn in this ironically soporific period of insomnia that Charlotte Fraser cocoons us within.

No One Is Coming To Save You Breaking Bunker Theatre

Agatha Elwes

Everything about this production provides a thick, idle sense of heaviness to keep us blissfully immobile. Callum Wyles’ sound design incorporates musical stylings that wouldn’t sound out of place at the end of a memorial service, a low drone that isn’t uncomfortable to the ear but instead provides a sense of soothing finality. And yet we never quite reach such a conclusion to this piece – we are suspended in a timeless fog that lacks the drive or direction typical of other theatrical productions.

With such a third-person scripting, it’s difficult to find common ground with Agatha Elwes or Rudolphe Mdlongwa. They perform their parts effectively, incorporating detailed observational comedy that keeps our attention for the most part. Elwes seems to connect more tangibly with her journey – the pace of her monologues, combined with an eminently more intriguing storyline, makes her mundanity more intriguing than that of Mdlongwa. No One Is Coming To Save You feels a bit fuzzy around the edges, and yet Elwes’ recollections seem easier for us to grasp.

No One Is Coming To Save You Breaking Bunker Theatre

Agatha Elwes & Rudolphe Mdlongwa

But ultimately No One Is Coming To Save You falls foul of its own subject matter. The desperation for something, anything, to happen that is so initially watchable in Ellis’ script eventually becomes our own collective thinking pattern. And Fraser’s direction doesn’t deliver on this wish. While it isn’t necessary for the production to be constantly captivating, there needs to be some inertia to interrupt the repetitive trap that the show falls into. The monologues converge in their epilogues, but by this time we have disconnected ourselves from the world, such is the lack of impetus to keep our attention.

No One Is Coming To Save You Breaking Bunker Theatre

Rudolphe Mdlongwa

On the whole, we are presented with a nice, gentle production that meanders along pleasantly. It has passages of beautifully written prose by Ellis and ends with both Elwes and Mdlongwa finding comfort in the awkwardness, ‘a beautiful image of perfect solace’. But No One Is Coming To Save You is a performance that you watch passively rather than actively engaging with. In the end, it all becomes white noise.

 

 

★★★☆☆

No One Is Coming To Save You runs on Tuesdays and Fridays until 7 July 2018, one of the Breaking Out plays as part of The Bunker Summer Season. For more information, please visit the venue website.