Home » London Theatre Reviews » No One by Akimbo Theatre at Soho Theatre | Review

No One by Akimbo Theatre at Soho Theatre | Review

A girl is missing. A party has descended into violence. And reports of levitating people and objects have the police questioning what substances the revellers might have taken.

No One by Akimbo TheatrePolice investigation is a well-trodden genre and yet is deployed to delightful effect in No One by Akimbo. It’s a framing device that works impressively well for a show that leans heavily on physical theatre and stage-fighting to provide fireworks and narrative propulsion. As the police turn their attention to events in the past, the cast ‘spools back’ through the action in reverse, with sequences that have been rehearsed to the point of rendering the ‘tricks’ invisible. The clowning / circus elements are so well executed that there are moments when I forget that these are real actors performing for us live – and on one of the hottest nights of the year. This shouldn’t be a great surprise once you learn that the whole cast had been students of (top circus school) Jacques Lecoq, yet the level of precision was a pleasant surprise in such a lower-key, intimate studio show.

The show centres around magic – both of the real and stage variety, with Marvel (Halvor Schultz) using a chance encounter with Griffin (Pierre Moullier) to bewilder those around him with close-up magic for the social media age. The company’s passion and respect for stage magic shine through.

All that said, there are moments when the performance slips into feeling like a student showcase, with some ropey acting that would have benefitted from as much attention as had clearly been devoted to the stunts.

It would be remiss of me not to mention Pierre Moullier’s breathless and unrelenting portrayal of Griffin, who is at the epicentre of the dynamic sequences, including those in which he didn’t appear (you’ll have to see the show to understand why!). His bromance with Halvor Schultz’s Marvel provides the emotional foundation of the show, too.

This might not be the most astonishing circus performance you’ll see in London, nor is it the most polished acting you’ll find in the West End, but I still find myself won over. The show includes excellent LGBT+ and disability representation without ever drawing unnecessary attention to it. Akimbo is absolutely a company I will be closely watching for where they go next. If you’re after a rough-around-the-edges physical theatre production with bucketloads of heart, you can’t go wrong with No One. I was charmed.

3 Star Review

Review by Ben Ross

Strange things are happening in Wellston – a haunted pub quiz, students with demonic powers, a missing woman. NO ONE is a modern re-mix of ‘The Invisible Man’ by H.G. Wells as a touching and comic, high-octane thriller.

The show balances laughter and tragedy, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats as the thriller unfolds. We blend emotional scenes with fast paced fights and slick movement sequences.

The story follows Thomas Marvel as he accidentally befriends an invisible man, bringing him fame and fortune, love and violence.

Framed as an investigation by the local police force of the fictional town of Wellston, they question if Griffin truly exists and if he is the violent monster everyone would have us believe.

London Clown Festival Present
No One
by Akimbo Theatre
Sat 17 Jun 23
https://sohotheatre.com/

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