Written by: Luke Thornborough
Directed by: Luke Thornborough
Harbourside Function Centre, 3rd Mar 2021
Reviewed by: Petra Shotwell
I genuinely don’t remember the last time I was so invested in a piece of theatre. Alone is a sci-fi thriller that explores feminism, climate change, space, and whether tomato sauce belongs in noodles. Beginning to end, I am with them every step of the way.
Set on a spacecraft called The Lily of the Nile, the story follows Dr Sarah Taylor (Kat Glass) and Jessica Holland (Courtney Bassett) as they near the end of a two-year space mission. Dr Taylor believes her work with alien micro-bacterium is the answer to climate change, while Holland is the quirky and fun pilot responsible for ensuring their safe return home.
Together the set (Luke Thornborough, James Wright, Glass), lighting (Michael Goodwin), and sound (Thornborough) create a truly surreal atmosphere. While I clearly don’t know what it feels like to be on a spacecraft, this team has created exactly what I might imagine. The technical aspects of the production perfectly complement the narrative. With the slow build to the climatic chaos, the theatrical sound and lighting almost go unnoticed, as they feel so natural to what is happening in the story. From the frightening bangs and chilling flashes of light, to the silent darkness, every choice is executed with clear intention, and adds exactly what the narrative demands.
Despite their unimaginable circumstance, Dr Taylor and Holland are two complex, likeable, and passionate characters whose stories simply feel real. The two actors, dressed fantastically in matching jumpsuits (costume by Courty Kayoss), are just brilliant. They command the attention of the audience, and turn that wide open room into a space built just for them; it is their spacecraft, and I am so on board.
Alone is intimate, powerful, a little bit scary, and absolutely incredible. For a full 90 minutes I forget that I’m in a vast function room, watching a piece of theatre with a group of people. I’m holding my breath, on the edge of my seat, with my eyes open wide, and absolutely desperate for their every move.