The Point of No Return at the New Diorama
The Point of No Return is a powerful piece of theatre based on the February 2014 civil protests and riots in Ukraine. Since the subject matter is based on something so recent, the weight and repercussions on the current landscape hang heavy in the air – it feels immediate and important. The play is delivered by a strong and passionate cast, with bold stage direction and jarring sound design.
Upon entering the theatre, the audience will see a state of chaos; tyres and debris litter the stage and the actors, some in police riot gear, another naked, are already present. The police openly observe the audience before the play has begun; the feeling of scrutiny and helplessness is instantly felt, and the vulnerability of normal people against the state endorsed force is highlighted. The action unfolds with cast members slipping between different roles, while the transition from scene to scene is rapid and sometimes disorienting. All of this successfully translates the confusion and danger felt during times of civil unrest.
Each character and scene is based on someone or something real; experiences informing the plot were carefully collected in a series of interviews with people on both sides of the movement in Ukraine, so what is happening on stage feels very authentic. Anger and injustice are enacted with intensity, and stand-out performances come from Vikash Bhai, who portrays characters so starkly different that it is surprising to remember that they are played by the same person, and Liuana Bonfim, whose performance is rife with raw emotion.
The intrusive sound design reflects the violence and uncertainty, and the clever stage direction retains many of the actors on stage at all times. The Point of No Return is an interesting, emotive piece that tackles important issues and events, the aftermath of which are still being harshly felt.
The Point of No Return is on at the New Diorama Theatre from 28th April until 23rd May 2015, for further information or to book, visit here.