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The Queen of the North (Bolton)

And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (The Warren Theatre, Brighton)

By • London
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Get a peek into The Big Bang Theory on stage – intellectual astrophysics mixed with burgeoning love, set to the backdrop of rock and roll and supernovas. This dark and dry tale is brilliantly told through the alluring narrator, played by Shani Erez, who leads the audience on a journey through the universe of stars and even takes us to the places of nothingness in between.

 

The first narrative by Johnny White, introducing the play, is so raw and seemingly unscripted that it leaves the audience wondering if some stoned university student has jumped onto the stage and grabbed the microphone.  Although his repetitive and discombobulating intellectual tirade makes you feel as if you are living out a real life Ground Hog’s Day, it brilliantly sets the mood for the hour long astrophysics lesson that is weaved into the story of love between two strangers, played by Jessica Jordan-Wrench and Nicholas Thompson, who meet on a train. 

 

It’s a bit like flipping back and forth between a David Attenborough documentary on the stars and an episode of Seinfeld.  At first the two stories seem random and unrelated – one is scholarly and almost too complex to grasp at times, the other is so simple and ordinary that it is easily relatable on several levels.  But the juxtaposition of the two stories slowly mélange into one as you come to the realization that the star is the perfect metaphor for the stages of a romantic relationship.

 

The entrancing story, told by the narrator, is an academic and frequently metaphysical dissertation on the phases of a star, which forms the premise for the play. The sub plot is a banal and often philosophical representation of the phases of a relationship, which forms the foundation for the love story between the two main characters.

 

The first five minutes of the play are so tedious that some of the audience looked as if they may want to get up and leave, but the narrator is so charismatic that they quickly lose themselves in the nebula as we watch a protostar form from nothingness and develop into a spectacular supernova.  Somehow even the quirkiness of treadmills and camera trains makes this play clever and artistic. 


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