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  • Writer's pictureSarah

A review of Nul Points at the Union Theatre - What could possibly go wrong at a Eurovision party?

Full points for perfect timing for this new play. With Eurovision in full swing and being hosted in Liverpool this year, what could be more fun than spending the evening at no less than 10 Eurovision parties at super-fan Josh's flat between 2012 to 2022?

Two men and a woman sit on a settee each draped in a countries flag ready for Eurovision
Josh, Daz and Cat get ready for the Eurovision fun. Photo credit East Photography

Josh (played by Kane Verral) is aided in his enthusiastic Euro preparations by his fellow student actor, Kat played brilliantly by Charlotte East. Although they are great friends, she's not a Eurovision fan. They are joined by Daz - another acting student and a bit of a 'himbo' and possible love interest for Josh. All the insecurities of trying to break into this world are played out between the three of them - who is reading for a part, who has an agent, and who even has a review written about them?


A mean wearing only a cowboy hat and union flag pants dances to a seated smiling man whilst another man stands behind
'Ryder' bursts onto scene! Photo credit East Photography

They are gate-crashed firstly by 'Ryder' - a stripper calling at the wrong address, real name Andrew, and then by Josh's mother fleeing the country pile in Scotland and a stale marriage.


Woman and a man sitting on a settee talking to a standing man
Mother and son form very different friendships with Andrew. Photo credit East Photogrpahy

In different years, we meet the characters again, and see how their lives have progressed. All seem to have found their place in life, apart from Josh. He says to his mother, "What if this is my best life?"


There are lots of funny one liners, but this isn't just a light-hearted play. It explores what makes someone 'successful', what lies are told along the way, and what happens when friendships get betrayed. The medium of doing this through the Eurovision years works well - and we are give masses of Eurovision trivia along the way.


At the press night there were a few hiccups, Adèle Anderson playing the mother fluffed her lines a few times, and the sound levels in the first part were too high - it's too small a theatre to need that much projection, but that settled in the second half.


The characters, apart from Josh, didn't quite feel fully fleshed out. Charlotte East did a sterling job with her character, but we didn't get to see why she'd agreed to be a surrogate, or why the 'me too' movement had really damaged her career. The mother's story didn't hold together very well; do young women who get drunk on cheap drinks in the suburbs really fall into the arms of rich Americans whilst throwing up who buy estates in Scotland? And does a woman obsessed with Le Creuset really incinerate everything she cooks? Adèle does her best to make this hang together, and makes her character funny rather than an absolute monster.


The switch of gear in the second half was done very cleverly, and was very moving. I think that it had quite an impact because of the subject matter.


Don't go to see Nul points if you are expecting a night of unadulterated fluff, there is a lot more going on than the Eurovision party. Saying this, the night of actual Eurovision on 13th May sounds amazing - get down there for your Buck's Fizz, the play followed by the screening of the real Eurovision.


Written by: Martin Blackburn

Directed by: William Spencer

Producer: Peter Bull

Starring: Adèle Anderson who is best known as a member of the acclaimed cabaret group Fascinating Aïda, Charlotte East, Marcus J. Foreman, Sean Huddlestan and Kane Verral


Where is Nul points on?:

Union Theatre

Arch 22 & 23 Old Union Yard,

229 Union Street London SE1 0LR


Nearest tube:

Southwark

Nearest Train:

Waterloo and Waterloo East


When:

Now until 20th May 2023


Tuesday - Saturday 7.30pm

(except Saturday 13th May)


Sunday 2.00pm

Saturday 13 May at 5.00pm followed by Eurovision party


Tuesday 2 May - Saturday 20th May : £25

Saturday 13 May: £30 to include a glass of bubbles and Eurovision party

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