The Host at Yard Theatre
The Host is another solid production from the National Youth Theatre, showcasing the young theatrical talent that will no doubt take over the London acting scene.
This play tells the story of a woman living in London who ends up hosting a Syrian refugee while at the same time going through a family crisis. As can be imagined, this is an evening full of raw themes and heavy emotions. Identity, racism, family, poverty, the refugee crisis and more are all explored to some extent in this short and explosive piece. But as seems to often be the case with the National Youth Theatre there is no preaching message that the audience must learn. It is simply an honest telling; a look at interesting themes. The audience is allowed to take what they want and free to come to their own conclusions about the show.
The Host does try to fit a little too much in to its mere 80 minute running time. On one hand this means some of the aspects of the play are touched upon too lightly and the narrative jumps around too quickly. However, this does add a little chaos and confusion, which perhaps helps to convey the feelings of the characters and what they are going through.
Rebekah Murrell plays the lead, Yasmin, particularly well. Murrell’s ability to go immediately from happy and joking to powerfully emotional is quite brilliant. In fact, the whole cast of five all put in great performances. Jesse Bateman as Yasmin’s sister Natalie is also worth a mention. Her role may be smaller but she truly becomes the struggling mother and makes for the most believable character in the play.
The Host is an intense and hard-hitting show that’s totally relevant to the modern world. And it is, quite simply, a good watch with some great performers.
Photo: Helen Maybanks
The Host is on at Yard Theatre from 22nd until 26th August 2017. For further information or to book visit here