As the friend with whom I went to see the show so emphatically said,
The direction is fantastic, the design is fantastic, the music is fantastic and the performances are fantastic.
Luke Barnes’ writing is smart and sharp. Okay, its topic is perhaps not the most original, but it gets you in the gut, and it gets you good. Stretched across three decades, from the ‘Cool Brittania’ era to ‘Broken Britain’ to ‘Brexit Britain’, the script introduces us to Leah and Chris, two millennials whose parents sacrificed everything for them, and who have told their children that, with enough self-belief and dedication, they can achieve whatever they dream. However, when that promise fails to materialise, Barnes’ script rips apart this endlessly-deferring promise of future happiness. It asks us how we communicate with those we love, what happiness really is anyway, how we measure it, and the extreme loneliness and isolation that can ensue as a consequence of not really being now, right now, at this very second. When references to Brexit were made (to a unanimously groaning audience), my heart hurt with how searingly close the performance was to my reality, as a Brexit Britain ‘millennial’ (although I hate that term, and its signifiers). When Graham came onstage in a Trump mask, laughing maniacally, my heart broke. The device of the singing asteroid (yep) heading to earth enabled Graham’s final monologue, in all of its visceral, muscled, boiling fury, to focus itself: “live your life”, he yelled at its climax, “I f****** dare you”.
Go and see All We Ever Wanted Was Everything. The direction is fantastic, the design is fantastic, the music is fantastic and the performances are fantastic. The script may not be the most subtle or original in its content, but, as the backbone of Middle Child’s production, it moved me to tears, and has reminded me that sometimes you just need to get out of your own head.