No Limits - Turbine Theatre
A song cycle for those that feel stuck with nowhere to go
There’s no denying that twenty-somethings have it tough. Friends are getting married, having children, and buying houses, seemingly with their lives all cooly under control but for many, they are simply trying to keep their heads above the water line. Sam Thomas’s new song cycle takes these melancholic themes, running with them to craft a variety of short stories told through song. This is a show for anyone at a crossroads in their life, wondering where to go next.
Nestled in a small apartment in the city, a collection of people tell their stories. Overlapping themes of loss, heartache and desire litter the floor as the rotating cast take their moment in the spotlight. Thomas’s writing is delicate and appealing, pulsating with emotion, packed with intriguing short tales that are a journey in themselves. Some of the story furnishings become a tad repetitive as the evening progesses, noticeably as we once again sit through another breakup trope, though there are much-needed light relief moments, one of which being Hannah Lowther’s delivery of her catfish song, meaning that the evening avoids turning stale.
Speaking of performers, the cast are worth the ticket price alone. Battersea has been treated to some of the most talented vocalists in the theatre scene right now. Headlining is Natalie May Paris as #DREAMER who rocks the house with every single one of her solo numbers - riffs for days. Her song about growing up after losing her mother is tender and rousing. Hannah Lowther is equally exceptional as #CATFISH, cheekily and deceitfully catfishing her neighbour, but also achingly good opposite Michael Mather (#FIGHTER) as they recognise their relationship’s obstacles but vow to battle through. Mather like the rest of the cast, delivers silky smooth vocals and is delightfully backed up by dancing teddy bears as he sings of his fading dream of being a rockstar.
As #FUNEMPLOYED, Mary Moore is witty and charming when singing through her stand-up comedy routine and plays out a familiar platonic breakup with Owen Clayton (#ROMANTIC) as the pair go their separate ways for the first time since graduation. Clayton is fantastic in showing vulnerability as they wait for a text from a one-night fling that we all know is never going to come. This is a cast overflowing with talent and vocal ability - massive credit to the casting team for assembling such a fantastic onstage team.
The surrounding design for this production is effective in utilising the limited space in the Turbine Theatre (partially limited due to the right choice to use a live band). A nice detail being the ever-changing digital artwork, representative of the current resident or residents on stage. In all this is a fantastic piece of new writing that is representative of so many people’s situations. A sensational cast makes this an evening to remember.
Running until 26 Feb - Tickets
Photography by Danny Kaan