Dust at Trafalgar Studios
First performed at the Underbelly during last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival and subsequently at Soho Theatre Upstairs (2018), Dust showcases at the historical venue, Trafalgar Studios, where audiences are brought up close and very personal with the ominous echo of death as a direct result of failed mental health.
Writer and solo performer Milly Thomas delivers an insightful, emotionally-charged outlook on the suicide of a young woman who suffered from lingering depression as she recounts tales of her life in the years leading up to its brutal end. Alice, the show’s protagonist, presents other characters on stage but through the constant that is her depression and eventual suicide. Thus, the solo performance is ideal in its accurate portrayal of depression as simultaneously deeply isolating – through one’s inability to be understood – but also as the depressive voice clouds over all others so that one fails to hear what is actually being said.
Producers Ceri Lothian and Ramin Sabi compliment Sara Joyce’s direction of a simple yet profoundly nuanced theatrical representation of a complex and oft-misunderstood phenomena of modern existence.
The production is heavy in its subject matter and in the representation of those left behind to suffer the guilt, sorrow and anger of Alice’s death, but the heaviness is frequently interlaced by the laughter associated with the banality of living as time moves on while depression always hovers above the head of the afflicted, consuming the mind entirely.
A haunting sound and light design by Max Perryment and Jack Weir, respectively, compliment the theme of the play, making Dust a show not to be missed for all its life, energy and invaluable educational value. This is a show that deserves all the attention and acclaim with which it has been accredited. Milly Thomas’s performance is spectacularly beautiful, honest, gruesome and sad. She will not be quickly forgotten, nor will her crude exhibition of such a private affliction.
Photo: Richard Southgate
Dust is at Trafalgar Studios from 4th September until 13th October 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.