‘A beautiful two-hander’: NEST – Vault Festival

In Festivals, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

The Vaults, London
Guest reviewer: Anonymous

Nest is a beautiful two-hander by Katy Warner, which was understandably shortlisted for Theatre503’s playwriting award. Travelling through an unconventional, council estate couple’s journey, the play invites the audience into snippets of their relationship, through a series of non-chronological scenes.

Set in a wonderfully chaotic bedsit with essences of angel wings and scattered tins, Holly Pigott’s design reflects the poisonous disarray surrounding the couple, with Jade (Charlotte Jane Higgins) wildly suggesting they end it all in a Romeo and Juliet-esque style. Jade appears to be the driving force in the relationship, with an addictive presence on stage that’s hard not to watch. She displays an unpredictable and playful energy, with hints of movements inspired by her long-term idolisation of ballet which now seems a world far away from the bleak council estate setting.

Her partner Liam (Arthur McBain) is the epitome of a ‘wasteman’ lulling in his unemployment – Warner is carefully touching on the lack of opportunity for the working class. Though in an unnamed town, the play is placed in a Northern setting, assisted by the accents of the actors.

Liam, though presented with a lot of flaws, finds himself constantly questioned by Jade’s ever-growing paranoia that he is “fucking the woman next door with big boobs”. It’s easy to sympathise with Liam, who McBain plays with moments of comedic brilliance – he manages to successfully steal a television for Jade in a bid for her approval only to be met by disappointment.

Warner sets up the characters with such detail and ease, it’s difficult to not be pulled into their world and left wanting to know more when the intense 60 minutes is over.

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Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.
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Laura Kressly on RssLaura Kressly on Twitter
Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.

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