Review: Nobody is an exhilarating journey into the mind, body and soul

The joy of this production is its accessibility, whether you are a dance aficionado or a newbie

Motionhouse have been creating dance/circus productions since 1988 and like many companies, the pandemic ground their work to a halt.

Work had just begun on Nobody, their newest production, and then we entered lockdown.

What has emerged from these extraordinary times is a show which changed direction, giving the company a chance to refocus and recharge their batteries.  

Artistic director Kevin Finnan said that he “began to realise that there was a synergy between what we were experiencing being confined to our own homes and what I wanted to express in Nobody.”

The result is breathtaking two act production which takes you on an exhilarating journey into the mind, body and soul.

Photo: Dan Tucker

When I type this, it makes this unique show seem pretentious but this could not be further from the truth. The joy of this production is its accessibility, whether you are a dance aficionado or a newbie.

Finnan and the original cast’s choreography grips you to your seat because it constantly evolves.

On paper, circus and dance sounds like an excuse to deliver trickery and euro tunes, similar to a big Cirque du Soleil production.

But here, there is synchronicity and beauty which makes the link between these two art forms feel completely natural, because it is.

Photo: Dan Tucker

Simon Dormon’s set design is ingenious, as we spent much of the last two years living in a box, and watching one.

So seeing this amazing dance troupe climb, jump and swing around these structures gives you a feeling a freedom that you have longed for since Boris Johnson began wringing his hands and telling you to stay at home.

Logela Multimedia and Barret Hodgson have created digital and audio visual design which is as good as any high scale arena gig and the imagery is crystal clear.

The huge crows you keep seeing represent the voices in our heads and remind you just what have come through over the last 24 months, in terms of feeling alone and lost.  

Photo: Dan Tucker

Natasha Chivers’ lighting brings accentuates the marvellous movement, as you focus on the dancers’ limbs and muscle movement, witnessing how hard work, resilience and determination can create something as beautiful and nuanced as Nobody.

Spiderman: No Way Home is still packing in audiences at cinemas and has taken almost £100 million in the UK. The character is beloved and the concept of bringing in guests from the multiverse is inspired.

But what also keeps you coming back for more are the high flying scenes between him and MJ.

Here you witness dancers jumping into human chains, falling off the top of buildings in trapeze-like movements which take your breath away, and it is only returned to you when you can gasp no more. And it is all live.

When you get your breath back, serenity and grace return until the next gravity-defying moment.

Photo: Dan Tucker

The dancers are terrific, as they bring depth to the movement and an emotional connection, so that it is not just simply tricks, smoke and mirrors.

You will spend the entire time completely invested in them and the narrative. The results are completely hypnotic.

Motionhouse kick off the new theatre season at HOME for this year and if this is the starter, I cannot wait to return to try and main course and dessert.

Nobody will take some beating, though, as it fills you with awe and wonder, yet beneath the heart stopping moments lies a show which celebrates life; the ups and the downs.

Nobody is at HOME until 12th February, with tickets available here, and then continues on tour, including dates at Chester.


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