Pros: The use of pop music helps maintain a good pace across the performance.
Cons: The storyline is dotty.
Written and performed by Stacey Devonport, Nomad follows the steps of Laura, an unfulfilled millennial on the verge of her 30th anniversary. Stuck in a nine-to-five job, with oppressive superiors and unfriendly colleagues, she dreams of leaving everything behind and joining her best friend in New Zealand – but the offer of a permanent contract with a solid income makes her sense of responsibility prevail over her dreams.
Many points in Devonport’s dotty one-hander are unclear; like, for example, why Laura’s boyfriend doesn’t celebrate her milestone birthday with her. Instead, he makes a phone call just to ensure that their old dog is doing well, whilst she’s drinking on her own in a bar full of strangers. A number of important topics are mentioned in passing but remain unexplored – the lack of depth in work relationships, the financial struggles of the younger generations and the sense of isolation perceived in a big city, just to name a few.
The use of an impressionistic syntax sees detached keywords used to convey meaning, almost as if Laura were communicating by hashtags. Rather than fully-fleshed sentences, the lines are composed of single words that describe the surrounding scene, or an action that the character is about to carry out, like “street… walk… traffic light… stop”.
This is supported by colourful projections of an abstract nature that, due to the stage being on an angle, don’t sit well on the background panel. As a result, the heads of the spectators sat along the front row cast huge shadows on both edges of the set and the shapes projected can hardly be seen from the seats on each side.
In a way, Nomad condenses all the features of the millennial culture that many of us struggle to appreciate: the disjointed narrative, the misuse and abuse of visual communication and the wafer-thin human interaction and relationships. Despite the good intentions of this coming-of-age piece of new writing, the result is stilted and hardly enjoyable.
Written and Performed by: Stacey Devonport
Director: Hannah Sharkey
Animated by: Iris Abols
Producer: Stacey Devonport
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.