We love the opportunities Bristol Old Vic gives to up-and-coming actors. The latest is this fascinating show by the theatre’s Young Company, one of the UK’s largest regional youth theatres providing acting experiences to over 300 young people aged 3-25 from across the South West.
Set in 2026, There’s Nobody Else in the World and the World was Made for Me tells the story of a group of young people sent to a underground “re-education centre”. They are perceived as problem kids by adults, or “little sh*ts” as they call them.
However, as this one hour play, in Bristol Old Vic’s Weston Studio, progresses, we realise that the teenagers are far from serious offenders with their actions very minor.
Despite that the grown-ups think they need sorting out so every day they are sent to a bunker hundreds of metres below the earth’s surface and without any adult supervision. They must reflect on their so-called “crimes” with the threat of a taser-gun like punishment hanging over them.
The audience is challenged to think about society’s attitude to young people and how policies of rehabilitation can often go horribly wrong. There’s poor understanding of children’s mental health and how their creativity and passions need to be encouraged rather than punished.
The production, directed Harry Gould, is an intense 60 minutes with some funny but also dark moments. The whole group is very impressive and there are some powerful individual performances.
There were a couple of confusing moments with some hard to follow overlapping dialogue, but overall we really enjoyed it. Bravo to the cast and crew of Bristol Old Vic Young Company!
There’s Nobody Else in the World and the World was Made for Me is at Bristol Old Vic until 14 January.
Images credit: Chelsey Cliff