Collisions, Nothing Left to Lose

Review in Issue 19-2 | Summer 2007

Nothing Left to Lose is directed by Tanushka Marah (winner of a Young Vic Young Director’s Award) and devised by Company:Collisions. It explores the nature of war, courage and love and is a mixture of dance/movement theatre, clown, mime, puppetry – and bold and beautiful acappella singing

The play opens with low lighting and sinister music. A walking stick, an old rag, a bucket and a bicycle wheel all hang distended from the stage ceiling; a set reminiscent of Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, the installation by Cornelia Parker. The backdrop is a mass of barbed wire, flooded with an eerie blue light. Two impressively animated child puppets are fighting. The ‘normal’ childhood violence between the puppets opens the way for the rest of the play. The entire audience and stage is then completely enveloped in darkness, there’s the sound of gunshot, and a stream of feathers fall from the ceiling onto the stage floor, a magical and spellbinding effect.

As the lights rise, we see an ensemble of seven ‘dolls’, covered in sand and dust, a community together braving the destruction and wreckage of a war-torn country. All they have is each other and their strength of spirit. Even at moments when all seems lost, they celebrate together through song, taking us on a journey through innocence, joy and grief. The dolls all share an indecipherable verbal language, which they use in conversation and song. For me, this worked, as the movement and expression conveyed an intense clarity and the songs’ melodies had the power to tug on your heartstrings. Nothing Left to Lose is a good piece of physical storytelling, both touching and entertaining, that left me with a sense of enchantment.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2007

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-2
p. 26