What teenager hasn’t mocked their parents taste in music, and how many parents have described modern music as “just noise”? Boxless Physical Theatre’s new production, Loop, has opened at Theatre N16 and uses this familiar concept to explore wider generational gap issues.
Loop takes us on a journey across five decades and three generations; the first fifteen minutes an intense and frenetic monologue full of physical ingenuity, beautifully delivered by Emily Thornton. It’s 1965 and a young woman is leaving everything she knows behind to start a new and exciting life, it’s wonderfully descriptive and immediately transports us to the era.
Jump forward twenty years and Loop subtly moves from monologue to drama, as her daughter (Rubie Ozanne) meets the boy (Aaron Price) she’ll spend the rest of her life with, all set to a back drop of Duran Duran and David Bowie.
Another leap to present day and now it’s the turn of The Young Man who, like his grandmother, yearns to start a new life, and just like Emily Thornton, James Demaine delivers another powerful monologue.
The music is an important theme throughout, and we know it from the very outset, thanks to a cleverly composed mash-up, combining everything from Bill Haley and His Comets to The Verve. Changing tastes is used very effectively to highlight the generation gap and the soundtrack to several lifetimes is seamlessly integrated to the production.
The writing from Alexander Knott is powerful and expertly crafted, there’s never a dip or dull moment and the story easily holds the audience’s attention. Movement by Zoe Grain is exquisite and executed by the cast with complete precision. The combination of writing and movement makes this a physical piece of theatre which flows with a fascinating urgency.
With history repeating itself, the poignant final scene reminds us that we are all young once, and while tastes and fashions may change everyone still holds their youth close to their heart. Loop is a superb example of impeccable movement and strong writing combining to make a truly exciting piece of physical theatre.