That feeling when love takes over everything, when you are so besotted with someone you see them everywhere, and in everything, and your whole world revolves around them. That’s the kind of love Yonni, a seventeen-year-old Jewish boy, feels for his first love, Adam, in Stephen Laughton’s Run, now enjoying a new lease of life at The Bunker Theatre following a successful outing at The Vault Festival and a tour.
In a solo performance, the young Yonni, takes us on a soaring journey of the joy, and pain, of that first love. Yonni and Adam see themselves as planets (Ganymede and Venus), hurtling through space and transcending time, so the story cleverly switches from past to present with a few surreal flights of fancy thrown in to the mix. The relatively short piece makes it more of a sprint than a marathon, but what an utterly dynamic and powerful sprint it is.
The stage is bare, save for a few metal bars, a handful of rocks and one superb performer, who manages to keep the audience absolutely engrossed throughout, as we explore life in a dysfunctional Jewish household with the added pressure of young love. That performer is Tom Ross-Williams who is fantastic as the young Yonni, despite being alone he seems to take up the whole stage. Not only does he tell the story beautifully, he portrays it through wonderful movements of his body that closely resembles a ballet. Frequently making eye-contact with the audience, he makes this a very intimate and personal experience, it’s difficult to decide where Tom ends and Yonni begins.
The performance is enhanced with swift bursts of music, designed by Anna Clock, which are electronic in sound and often euphoric. Run is a wonderfully inspiring story, though heart-breaking at times, but it is the performance that really brings it home, a performance that, like his characters adopted planetary personality, really is out of this world.