All We Ever Wanted Was Everything review at the Welly Club, Hull – ‘surreal and exhilarating’
It’s a tale of a girl and a boy and a a singing asteroid (words I never thought I’d type). Staged in one of the Hull’s best-known clubs, Middle Child’s new show is filled with swirls of dry ice and pulses of multi-coloured light.
All We Ever Wanted Was Everything follows Chris (James Stanyer) and Leah (Bryony Davies) – two kids from different sides of the tracks – across 30 years of their lives.
From the tail-end of Thatcher’s reign, through the Blair years to the present day, Luke Barnes’ smart play rips into the consumerism that has defined these decades and the false hopes which threaten to derail Chris and Leah’s lives.
Presided over by kohl-eyed MC Marc Graham – the bantering, exuberant conscience of the piece – the prospect of the end of the world (in the form of an asteroid on a collision course with earth, played by Alice Beaumont) prompts them, and us, to stop spending and start living.
It’s an exhilarating, sweaty, and eardrum-pounding show – band The Black Delta Movement blast out their heavy rock riffs in the intervals between acts – that blurs the boundaries between theatre and gig.
With its mix of live music (James Frewer’s spot-on parodies of genres including Britpop) and visual flourishes – a bank of TV screens flicker with images of the Berlin wall’s collapse and 9/11 – it makes for heady stuff.
There’s a youthful exuberance and a swagger to the show, as there is with all of the company’s work, which leaves the audience spun about and spat out the other side feeling a little bit altered.