A sense of hope on the Way Back Home
Set against a lost society, Louise White’s new show tries to find a path through despair
Way Back Home
With its heavy reliance on familiar tropes of contemporary theatre (microphone stands, practical lights, child performers, documentary material . . . you name it) it would be easy to dismiss Louise White’s new production as a slave to Fringe fashions. But while its disjointed composition can feel forced, the form of her absorbing show follows its material, guided by a heartfelt sense of empathy for a directionless society in search of new structures.
One strangely enchanting narrative thread, for which adult performers feed a young boy his cues, follows a lost child through various encounters with hapless grown-ups. To underscore the minor-key mood, desolate watercolour landscapes appear from the artist Clare Henderson, while White floats in references to hospital receptions, ghost estates and eviction notices: a background dystopia of our sad everyday patter. In compensation, perhaps, we get a surfeit of playful devices: engaging voice-overs by children, repeated improvised games onstage, late attempt at explanation. The mischief has a purpose (adults and children here seem equally abandoned) but White’s interest is something warmer: the hope and resilience necessary to find our way again.
Until Sept 14