Following a journey into intense relationships, friendship and loss, this tale of two cities remarkably takes place within just one setting, London.
The stage itself is empty; nothing but the black walls and floor of the Nightingale Theatre, yet their actions illuminate the space, inviting us to share in their intimate story.
This beautifully choreographed piece of physical theatre does not expect its audience to take a giant leap of faith in conjuring up their imaginary surroundings. As each cast member moves so eloquently between their fictional spaces, their story is told between action and expression not by elaborate stage design.
Move to Stand’s brand new production Kin follows the story of Yorkshire lad, Tom, whose innocent explorations of his new surroundings contrast with those of his new flatmates, couple Jan and Luciana, who have grown weary of the big city and long for a different place to call home.
As the cast cavort playfully with each other, the couple enjoying Tom’s innocent charm are desperate to try and hide their unhappiness at being unable to conceive a child. Their moments alone are charged with emotion and the excellent lighting design conceals Tom as he never once leaves the stage.
The piece is punctuated with light-hearted moments as they breach cultural boundaries, Luciana embracing a very awkward, very English, Tom as he leaves the flat after meeting them for the first time, and how the couple tease each other when reeling off the list of prospective housemates. A particularly charming touch was the mimed actions of using a cafetiere as an imaginary centre piece around which the characters could congregate.
These moments give a very natural and familiar air to this highly original plot as we recognise these types of relationships in our own lives and can empathise with the feelings of excitement and foreignness that come with being in a new place.
Artistic Director Martin Bonger has really raised the bar for fringe theatre with an outstanding cast and highly evocative live music that was so subtle yet so necessary for the plot. It is hard to believe that this was the piece’s first night.