Upon entering the theatre, four actors dressed in all black with merely a hint of colour sit transfixed on four chairs. The room is dark, the main source of light coming from the lanterns that each actor is holding which creates silent stillness yet an overwhelming sense of tension whilst the audience are taking their seats.
A Bomb On Broadway is a performance as opposed to a story, told through a constant stream of monologues, chaos is created through the pace of speech and movement. Oliver Hamilton, Tom Coffey, Lucy Ross-Elliot and Steph Reynolds take to the stage as the four individuals that are stuck inside this commotion. Whilst it’s an abstract piece of theatre, each character has a clear age and persona that is evident through their monologues.
As each individual is about to start their monologue, their lantern is turned on. As the audience focus on them, the actors take you on a journey through their suffering and confusion as they use their monologues to create a very panic-stricken ambience.
The piece begins with tranquility, as the first monologue begins the audience are encapsulated. As the performance progresses the intensity enhances, the voices get louder and sharper and movement is introduced. By only using a few props such as the chairs and four cardboard boxes full of torn up newspaper, the actors predominantly use speech and movement to portray the raw emotion in their monologues.
Although there is no clear plot or a storyline I found myself completely transfixed upon each actor, they use their voices remarkably which is also reflected in their faces. Halfway through the piece they begin to connect with each other, moving around and interjecting each other’s speech with their own.
The soundtrack to the piece proved highly effective, the mechanical sounds create a contemporary style of background music that weaves itself into the piece effectively. The music is embedded into the piece and appears slightly hypnotic as there were moments in the performance I forgot the music was part of the piece because I felt like I had been transported into a different world. It is an engaging production that demonstrates powerful and commanding acting that is bound to leave you feeling stunned.
A Bomb On Broadway by 1121 Collective is a dynamic piece of theatre that has the intensity and pace required to completely mesmerise the audience.