Overall, Nothing was a good play. Despite an odd premise, Theatre Group did a great job bringing each character to life.
With just five members in the cast – two spectators, a theatre critic, a theatre producer and a policewoman – Theatre Group’s production of Nothing nearly had more production team than cast.
It began as the name would suggest; nothing by nature. For about 20 minutes, the cast was sat in the audience. The theatre critic was getting gradually more excited and one spectator was getting annoyed, but essentially nothing was going on. The actor and actresses pulled off some very impressive facial impressions as they sat in silence for the majority of the twenty minutes.
After the annoyed spectator got a fed up, she demanded her money back from the producer and the theatre critic called the police. There was a bit of action as the producer attempted to appease the angry women, but the play only really kicked off when the policewoman arrived.
The angry spectator grabs the policewoman’s gun, distraught that she’d just found her husband with another woman. The policewoman talks her down, but as she lowers the gun it is snatched by the theatre critic. In an amusing plot twist, all five characters are forced by the theatre critic to watch the play at gun point. As the critic enjoys the nothingness as much as ever, I appreciated the desperate glances the other spectators throw at the policewoman, edging her to do something while pretending to enjoy the play.
Although I had enjoyed this part of the play, the last part was very confusing. In some odd twist that I still don’t understand, the producer snatched the gun and forced the policewoman to act before shooting both her and the disgruntled spectator. The play ends with the producer making the final spectator and the critic continue to watch nothing, except now with the two bodies either side of the stage, the critic silently crying in the corner. This part would have been a lot less confusing if there had been some sort of character development for the producer. He went from trying to appease the squabbling critic and disgruntled spectator to shooting two people without anything much in between – even with the gun he didn’t seem that agitated.
Overall though, it was a good play. The characters were mostly convincing, with all the cast doing some very effective facial expressions. It was a well acted production with an amusing, if slightly weird, plot.
Theatre Group’s production of Nothing ran from October 12th to the 14th.