45DS-Nothing-photo-by-Cameron-GrantNothing is far from that – this adaptation by Fleur Murphy is a brutal adventure through adolescence and into the bleak realities of adulthood.

When a precocious child declares that nothing in life matters, a chain of events are set in motion that leads to catastrophic results.

Five wide eyed children lead the audience through the small moments that changed their lives ultimately for the worse, as they peel back and discard the layers of their youth.

Fleur Murphy has masterfully adapted Janne Teller’s award-winning novel – keeping the dialogue sharp and the mood light, until bringing down the hammer to shatter the wholesome world on stage.

Though sometimes unnecessarily lyrical the script expertly unravels the characters and the deep mysteries that are found as they step into adulthood.

Alonso Pineda’s direction perfectly brings the script to life with an overflow of finely crafted choices. Each scene is choreographed with a deft hand – keenly wringing out each emotion, each nuance and each spine tingling twist, to keep the audience on their toes.

Apart from a few too many insufferable blackouts, Pineda effortlessly showcases an abundance of talent and is certainly a director on the rise.

The world of Nothing is brought to life by an ensemble of phenomenally talented actors. Connor James, Rebecca Makar, Jessica Martin, Eddie Pattison and Laurence Young work in a unified symbiosis – bouncing off each other to create utterly believable and complex characters, who equally excite and terrify.

Each performer crafts a character with utter commitment and emotive connection – allowing them to shine through the pack and grow as the story does.

The set, costume, lighting and sound breathtakingly create an evocative world for the story to unfold in. Karine Larché, Harrie Hogan and Sam Porter’s designs are true artistry.

The dark eerily and sometimes saccharine setting of the work is so fantastically created by these designers that it is easy to forget that there is a reality outside the theatre.

Nothing is a wonderful return to independent theatre and showcases the wealth of talent just itching to get back onto the stage – it’s is already one of 2022’s must sees.

fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Performance: Sunday 6 March 2022
Season continues to 13 March 2022
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Image: The Cast of Nothing – photo by Cameron Grant

Review: Gavin Roach