DUSK – The Young Vic, London.
I was fortunate to watch Dusk alongside a wonderfully interactive school group, who were very eager and willing to join in with all of the ‘It’ noises, led by the character of Another It played by Nick Lawson. This is a piece where the children in the audience really bring the show to life through their observations, rather than anything the two performers to do – and it is therefore quite an unusual experience.
Dusk is a story of how It (Nasi Voutsas) becomes part of the tribe and embarks on a journey through forests, moorlands, rocky outcrops and the sea – the reason for this journey is not explicit, but it is nonetheless quite beautifully filmed on location in London, Essex, Yorkshire and Wales. The cinematography and post production credit is to Will Duke, who has created a visually stunning film.
Although Dusk starts as a fun piece of interactive theatre with Another It leading you through into the forest, making the ‘pack’ call and initiating you into the It tribe by giving you your tail and green mark – the audience then settle down on the plush carpet to watch as It embarks on his journey, captured on film. There is the occasional break in the film where Another It calls on the little Its (the children, opposed to the big It’s, the adults) for their help in calling to It – but other than that, we are watching and waiting for It to find us.
When It does find his way back home to our forest, designed by the directors David Harradine and Sam Butler, although he is clearly happy to see all the little and big It’s waiting for him, shaking hands and greeting them, I was saddened by the lack of interaction on his part following the children’s ebullient observations they were making – including “you ate a flower”, “you picked up a snail” and “we saw you”. So when he led them to the door encouraging them to have their own adventures, the stimulus for their imagination had been dampened and they reacted literally, stating “there’s nothing there”. However, this was soon overcome through each child being given a stick, something which It had found and subsequently carried with him for the rest of his journey.
Fevered Sleep have created a hybrid piece of film and theatre that enables the audience to re-think just how we see everything around us – both in a city and the natural world. It had certainly given me things to think about and is well worth seeing.
– – – – – – – – – –
By Emily Jones
14th – 29th November 2014
The Young Vic, London, SE1.