‘Nu Disco!’ was lively.
Colourful light leaks out from under the cracks of PIP Theatre’s doors accompanied by the pulsating bass of electronic beats. It is the take over of ‘Nu-Disco!’, the rowdy one woman show that deep dives into one woman’s night out on the town and the crowded, chaotic world of nightclubs. Primarily following the character of Trinity, we are taken along on a wild ride as she drinks, snorts and flirts her way through the night.
Written and performed by Ellen Marning, this new piece of theatre is a vibrant exploration of impulsivity, womanhood and the ups and downs of drunken activities. The writing is witty and fast paced, jumping in time throughout the night. Although the nonlinear nature serves well in maintaining the rowdy rhythm, it does at some points sacrifice plot clarity for flamboyance.
Marning’s performance is energetic and physically engaging as she jumps between various characters ranging from a German bouncer, a tipsy ditsy lover girl, a paranoid Irish man and of course, the leading lady Trinity. Marning’s speedy transitions between these characters is further emphasised with assistance from lighting design as each character is given a signature colour.
As well as assisting in character transitions, the lighting plays a huge role in transforming the theatre space into a pumping club. The show is brimming with colour and flashing lights, with breathtaking visuals of Marning wildly dancing about the space underneath a pulsating strobe.
Robert Downie’s sound design adds more fuel to the fire and is a driving force in the storytelling of the show. Throughout the entire piece, a distant thumping of bass heavy music can be heard thrusting audience’s well into the world of nightclubs. However, more than just worldbuilding, moments of layered soundscapes with echoing voice overs and music merging into heartbeats or subtle drones are essential in the building of tension.
Directed by Laura McAloney, ‘Nu-Disco!’ is a fun and fast show with an intense technical aesthetic and a witty truthfulness. With an entire night out crammed into 60 minutes, it is a brief but explosive exploration of nightlife, particularly from a feminine lens.
‘Nu Disco!’ performed until Saturday, 6 May 2022 at PIP Theatre. For more information visit their website.