‘Nests’, written by Xana Marwick, and directed by Heather Fulton, tells the tale of a young boy, a man, and a crow. A young boy, lost and without a home, finds a man to take him in. The play twists and turns throughout, until its final cliff hanger scene.
‘Nests’ is an intimate play, set in the same area of Scotland throughout, in somewhere between the city and the forests. The set was intimate, and quite quirky, using rustic television screens balanced on the stage and on some props to show the crow, The Boy’s only friend. The crow helped to show important qualities of friends, such as the fact they stick around for when friends are sick or alone, as they did for The Man.
The Boy, played by Ashleigh More (making her first professional debut), is a confused young child, not sure how or why he is alone and lost. All he knows is he woke up in a bin, leaving both the audience and The Man to wonder how he got there and where his family is. He is sensitive yet strong, dependant yet independent, and is alone except from having his crow as a friend. More’s portrayal of The Boy is believable and helps you get lost in the story.
The Man (played by David Mackay) however, has a cold and rough exterior, but on the inside is suffering daily due to leaving his son Gabriel on the doorstep of a wealthy family. As the play goes on, more is revealed and we see the deterioration of his character as he starts to believe The Boy is Gabriel, and things start to go downhill for the man, both for his mental and physical health.
The acting on both sides was believable and impeccable, you could sense the bond the two characters had. Both More and Mackay had become fully immersed in their characters, and would get you lost in the world the characters were experiencing. The sound, by Matt Elliot, created an eerie atmosphere, as we followed The Man’s spiralling mental health. As he was worried about his son, we would hear creepy whispering and hectic radio static.
However, the script is what fell short for me. The topics battled were important and emotionally charged, but they didn’t really hit home enough. I felt as though the playwright could have discussed the idea of lost children and how children can fall through the cracks of the care system a lot more to make it clear, as I felt as though I had to come up with what the topic was myself, rather than it being obvious. There was long bouts of silence, which slowly became often and time consuming.
All in all, ‘Nests’ is an emotionally charged play, starring talented actors, however it just falls short of really delivering the message it seemed like it was trying to tell. The script never had a clear climax, and only picked up a little bit towards the end. However, the cliff hanger ending keeps you wondering ‘what will happen next?’
Guest Reviewer: Aimee Stanton