Vault Festival 2018: Nest
There are so many maybes in our lives. Maybe I’ll do this or perhaps the next thing. So many “I don’t know”s. Life is full of uncertainties, of possibilities, of perhaps. Everyone is looking for answers, for love – fighting, or even dying, for love.
One of the offers at this year’s Vault Festival is Nest, a play that delves into the maybes of life, set in a messy council estate apartment where two lovers meet accidentally and began the journey of a complicated relationship. Written by AWGIE award-winning Australian playwright Katy Warner, Nest premiered on one of the snowiest days in London over the rush hour train at Waterloo station, giving us a natural soundtrack on the Cavern stage.
Warner was inspired by a tragic love story in Leeds. The urban legend tells of a couple in despair who threw themselves off a council block, after warning the police of their intent to avoid being found by the neighbours. However, inspiration flies and Nest is far from a suicide story; it is about finding that comfortable space in our lives where we feel safe, which includes a swan – a partner for life.
Liam, played by a clumsy and tender Arthur McBain, is a good, hopeless boy frustrated by the difficulties of finding a job – voicing perhaps the frustration of today’s working class generation. Although imperfect, Liam is one who is ready to give love to Jade (Charlotte Jane Higgins) and cheer up her days with the smallest details every time he pops by. Jade never leaves her apartment. She doesn’t seem to need the world outside or is too afraid, or too disappointed in society, to even try. Higgins, who reminds one of Scottish actress Kelly MacDonald, certainly gives a fine performance, allowing the audience to giggle and feel sad at the same time.
The lighting effects by Zoe Spurr create a dimness that alludes to the despair, accomplishing efficacious flashbacks that narrate the tale. The decor is cleverly crafted and enhances the utter confusion of the characters through an untidy set full of empty beer bottles, where, despite all, Jade manages to feel at home.
Nest is a lovely story, well-told, and one feels like reflecting post-show. But the piece feels too short, leaving the audience wanting for more passion – though maybe this is deliberate. Yet, the charm of the venue and the nest-like setting calls everyone to venture out into the heavy snow and into the Vault’s tunnels to watch this play.
Photo: Alex Harvey-Brown
Nest is at Vault Festival 2018 from 28th February until 4th March 2018. For further information or to book visit the festival website here.
Watch the trailer for Nest here: