Nests

Within a cluttered clearing in some woods that's neither town nor countryside and so somehow feels like nowhere, an unnamed Man (David McKay) sleeps the sleep of the just-finished-a-bottle-of-gut-rot-cider. He's woken up – eventually – by the desperate exploration of his broken home by a starving 12 year old Boy (Ashleigh More), on the run from something so terrible that he can't – more likely won't – initially say what it is.

More is particularly impressive, given that this is her professional debut; yet her gender-blind casting remains distracting.

This latest co-production by Scottish children/YA theatre company Frozen Charlotte and arts organisation Stadium Rock is an excellently-performed two-hander which raises some important questions – even if it doesn't answer them – about the support our society gives to not just its children but also their parents when times get tough. Debut playwright Xana Marwick's dialogue is suitably minimalistic, at times harsh; while director Heather Fulton does a great job bringing out the meanings between the lines, including an opening scene which runs without dialogue for several minutes, effectively building the tension to when the Man first wakes.

There's a touch of the archetypal here; objects in Katy Wilson’s set are nothing more than flat cut-outs, while the Boy's "one friend" – a crow – is represented through Geraldine Heaney's video animation (continuously displayed on one of three television screens dotted around the Man's camp) and a soundscape by Matt Elliott & Dougal Marwick. Fighting against any potential flights of fancy, McKay and More keep their characters rooted in reality – physically, verbally, emotionally. More is particularly impressive, given that this is her professional debut; yet her gender-blind casting remains distracting—why didn't they just make the Boy "the Girl"?

Marwick's script is not without problems; not only does it rely slightly too much on coincidence, it never focuses as sharply as it could on its supposed central question of where the duty of care for the most vulnerable in society actually lies. Nevertheless, she imbues her characters with an at times fascinating and endearing imaginative life; and, in this production, sees her words given an effective, nuanced production of which everyone can be proud.

Reviews by Paul Fisher Cockburn

Summerhall

One of Two

★★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Moira in Lockdown

★★★★★
Laughing Horse @ Bar 50

Love and Sex on the Spectrum

★★★★
Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

"You've chosen to take yourself away from things but me, I'm invisible." A frightened, starving boy and his only friend, a crow, encounter a man on the edge of society trying to forget his past. Their meeting begins a surreal journey where magical realism meets real-life media broadcast on life in present day UK. Nests is a contemporary tale for Scotland's Year of Young People that questions how our society treats the young and vulnerable. It questions the stories we tell ourselves and the impact we all have on each other.

Most Popular See More

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets