Review | Laura Money
And then all I can see is YOU
So speaks Yonni, a young British and Jewish man, whenever things get overwhelming. Ben Stuart gives a solo performance as seventeen year old Yonni, telling his story in a non-linear narrative that sometimes flickers and fades as our protagonist fails to process the events of his life. The humour and banter written into Yonni’s character bely his status as unreliable narrator and more and more facts creep in as the story progresses. Run by Stephen Laughton is a sharply written piece that uses the actor against himself – imbibing the script with small clues that are overshadowed by Yonni’s affable nature and banter. It’s a piece that could have benefitted by a British accent as it’s so deeply rooted in a particular culture of Jewish Britain, although Stuart’s pronunciation is impeccable.
Gavin Roach‘s direction is impressive – he has Stuart navigate different temporal zones and headspaces through particular movements on stage. Utilising a soccer ball as a stand in for his great love, and using different levels such as crouching, sitting, and angles Roach creates a dynamic environment that almost mimics Yonni’s headspace. While the rhythm of speech and inflection could be more nuanced, Stuart is a master at using his body to truly demarcate each scene. Stuart moves his body in the rhythm of each scene – shy smile creeping over his face as he hugs himself in simulation of a lover’s embrace, desperation as he pushes against nothing when attempting to help a beached whale and running, running, running. He does these amazing slow motion movements, thrusting his hands to the sky with an openness and willingness to soar – it’s mesmerising in the muted, Venus-like light and seeing Stuart’s face lit up with the elation of self-induced freedom is an unforgettable moment in theatre.
You can run to see the show at The Jonesway Theatre until 19th February 2023. TICKETS
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The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.