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The Collision of Things – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Move to Stand in association with Little Mighty

Director: Ben Kidd

Reviewer: Clare Boswell


The_Collision_of_things_main‘The Collision of Things’ is an award-winning show about three friends who lose one life to gain another. Theatre Company ‘Move to Stand’ have certainly produced a delightful show. Combining striking physical theatre with compelling storytelling.

‘The Collision of Things’ tells the tale of a young couple and their lodger whose lives coincide on the streets of a foreign city. The plot begins with all the ingredients of a perfect love story. Jan (Martin Bonger) and Luciana (Merce Ribot) meet, are instantly attracted to each other, and begin to co-habit in London. Cracks begin to appear as we learn the couple are struggling to conceive and they decide to rent out their spare room. Cue the third and final character Tom ( Richard Kiess) who has come to London to attend the funeral of his estranged father. Despite having a return ticket back to Wakefield, Tom decides to remain in London in an attempt to connect with his father and walk in his footsteps. Tom becomes Jan and Luciana’s lodger and the foundations for this unlikely friendship are laid.

Despite being brought together through a series of tragic occurrences, this three-way living arrangement initially works well with Jan, Luciana and Tom finding comfort and solace in each other. Frequent drunken nights ensue as each character attempts to make sense of the world in which they live.

‘Move to Stand’ have created an impressive script and balance profound poetic text and abstract sequences with naturalistic dialogue. The international three-strong cast are all successful in bringing this simple yet compelling story to life. Delivery is truthful and all three showcase their impressive physical skills, while ensuring that any movements and gestures retain the subtlety of the script. They effectively build up the bubbling tension throughout the play which makes parts of ‘The Collision of Things’ quite uncomfortable to watch. There are obvious moments of tragedy within the production but the cast work hard to relish the lighter elements and the result is an entertaining, empathetic and thought provoking hour of theatre.

There is something very fresh and contemporary about ‘The Collision of Things’ and this is possibly down to the fact that the cast drew upon their own experiences when devising the show. The production explores many themes ranging from the pressures of work through to modern city-living and the cast approach every element with a boundless energy and maturity, although there are moments when the pace needs to be quickened to ensure that the momentum that the script generates is maintained. The cast really shine when tackling the surreal moments of the play through a very high standard of mime and suggestion. Jan’s escape into another world while supermarket shopping with Luciana is particularly amusing and fully utilises Martin Bonger’s impressive physical theatre skills.

Philipp Nash has also created a beautiful sound score which is operated by the cast on stage via a laptop. The combination of the live music with Joshua Pharo’s lighting design, the intricate physical skills of the cast and a razor sharp script have resulted in an original and engaging production. There are still some pacing issues within the production which would benefit from being smoothed out but ultimately this is a very promising piece of work from a young and vibrant company.

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