Theatre Review: The Party’s Over at Nottingham Lakeside Arts

Derby theartre performancesf-107

On a murky summer’s evening, an audience at Nottingham Lakeside Arts was invited to take a break from the illusion of normality. The Party’s Over, a new performance from local cultural studio Nonsuch, lured viewers into the space between sleep and wakefulness, flashing before our eyes in a mesmerising whirlwind of sand, sensuality and uncertainty.


Immersive theatre at its best, the performance had similarities to French theorist Antonin Artoud’s idea of the ‘Theatre of Cruelty’, a performance style which aims to dive into the audience’s subconscious and wake up the senses. Highbrow theatrical theory aside however, as the lights went down and a crescendo of exotic music began, all semblance of the everyday world dropped away for the next 75 minutes.

Enticed into a sensuous journey, the audience are forced to peep into the tumultuous mind of another as they follow Peter, an ordinary man lost in a barren space of uncertainty. His existence is fast paced and unfulfilling, with hands to shake, papers to shuffle and a briefcase to desperately cling to, but an uncomfortable desire lingers.

Derby theartre performancesf-51

From a pile of unassuming sand (the only prop on the bare stage) emerges a woman. Wild haired and unrestrained, she has a rose and a dance for Peter. When joined by three others, they descend as a mob whose only purpose is to wake him out of his day-mare and lure him into their world of uninhibited dance, freedom and release. Their carefree playfulness is punctuated with threatening whispers and shrieks, but nonetheless both Peter and the audience is tempted to join their vivacious gang. What follows is a wild and exotic ceremony to break down Peter’s stiff disposition and awaken the primal nature which has been forgotten.

Derby theartre performancesf-107

A powerful blend of Latin and Middle Eastern music complemented the desert-like stage perfectly, bringing to mind the exotic decadence of far flung places. Enveloped in the darkness of the theatre, the bursts of light gave life to the sand and glitter which were used throughout to amazing effect. The simplicity and impact of these integral features was immense throughout and without them The Party’s Over would not be the feast for the senses that it is.

The Party’s Over was two years in production and is now set to tour national and international venues in 2018. A brilliantly dark lesson in living that brought light to a gloomy summer night, I highly recommend you join the party while you can.

Follow The Party’s Over and Nonsuch: #NonsuchTPO www.nonsuch.com

Posted on 29 June 2017
Featured author: Sophie

Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

Comments (0)

Post a comment

Our monthly pick

Matilda, the European Eagle Owl

Birds, herds and beautiful scenery was the focus on my Wildlife Photography Course at Sherwood Hideaway

When I was asked to spend my weekend at Sherwood Hideaway to take part in wildlife activities available there, of course I was only too happy to oblige. It sounded like a wonderful experience and I could think of much worse ways to spend my weekend. Wildlife walks take place each Sunday at Sherwood Hideaway…

Your favourite places

Featured authors

  • Sarah Louise

    A very lucky marketeer in her dream job. Passionate about all things Nottinghamshire and firmly believes if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!

  • Kinga

    Addicted to music and learning languages. Loves reading, gardening, travelling and everything new media related.

  • Alistair

    Originally from Preston – but now calling Nottingham home – Alistair’s a St Helens rugby league fan who loves travel and music.

  • Natalie

    Proud to represent the county I grew up in. Travel loving devoted mum of two who carries a torch for the city’s unsung hero, Captain Albert Ball VC.

  • Sophie

    Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

Have a go...

madame parboiled nottingham

Madame Parboiled’s Historical Pub Tour

Nottingham is a city steeped in history and its pubs are a living proof of that, they’re a tangible representation of England’s past, and celebration of life before us. To learn how to grow our appreciation for Nottingham’s historic pubs we ventured into a world of Madame Parboiled – the executioner’s wife who knows Nottingham and…