Theatre Review – Sonder

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Sonder
Centrality Theatre
The Cockpit, Marylebone5_Star_Rating_System_4_starsReviewer: Laura Shoebottom

One homeless man in a city full of strangers and the impact of one random act of kindness, ‘Sonder’ is genius devising which is designed to question, move and motivate.

The play centres around one man, nobody knows his name and nobody apart from one kind stranger wants to know. Set to a bare backdrop in a vast open space and a small framework set at the back that becomes multi-use, the audience are instantly transported into the world of this character and the people around him, exploring his isolation, his passion and his drive.

The movement is intricately choreographed by Lucy Glassbrook and stunningly performed by the company which was formed in 2015 by a group of graduates from Birmingham School of Acting. It is fluid and precise and creates a wealth of imagery – from the individual character work which is inventive and exciting to the rock solid formations later in the piece. The company have really worked to create the manic atmosphere of the city and also the intimacy of the characters more private moments. 

The workspace sequence is a particular highlight, the whole sequence is well balanced with an almost soundscape soundtrack produced by Chris Turner with contributions from Matthew Socci. Low lighting is used with bright spotlights to really create the feeling of deception and everything being not quite as it seems. What is noticeable throughout are the individual movements that most of the characters use at the start of the piece are scattered throughout the narrative. There is lovely interaction and great energy throughout from the whole cast.

The use of lighting throughout the piece is brilliant. Soft lighting is used for the scenes outside then a sharp contrast of low lighting and harsh spotlights for the workspace scene, the audience are taken on a very detailed journey and almost lulled into this dreamlike personification of his life before it’s heartbreaking ending.

The soundtrack is superb. There are clear differentiations between each scene which work really well along with the detail and energy of the movement to make the audience able to empathise with the characters. It starts off quite upbeat and almost frantic to match the pace of the scene in the city and then mellows out for some of the more intimate scenes where the focus is just on two people. 

A moving representation of one man and his life and choices. You won’t be disappointed.

Centrality Theatre: Grace Bussey, Ellie Forrest, Jason Homewood, Ashia Llorente, Jamie Seal, Roseanna Stanton

Runs until: Monday 8th August 2016 as part of Camden Fringe