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Order From Chaos: A Nottingham New Theatre Review


Walking into the studio room, a fog of purple haze, blaring music and dazzling disco lights (mimicking a nightclub setting),  it was clear that Order from Chaos by Jonny Khan would provide the audience with a night of pleasurable entertainment. The amount of enthusiasm the actors had for their parts was infectious, Lois Baglin’s (playing the main character ‘Jay’) level of energy, in particular, never wavering. A comedy with some poignant and dramatic undertones thrown in here and there, this play proved to be a success as it’s story line offered something new and refreshing for the audience to witness.

Centred around the concept that music is the answer to the emotionally fragile and those who have suffered trauma in their lives, it became clearer that this production would be both have both light and dark moments. There were many erratic qualities in both characters personalities, the moment that stood out for me to show this was when she was dancing happily to the loud and blaring tunes to then explain to the audience the reasons why music helps her to cope through her daily life. This was done by Jay shouting over the loud music and popping sounds to the audience with the colourful disco lights, to then have the lighting change to dark blue as she lowers her voice to show her more vulnerable side. There were a variety of different sounds that were played throughout the performance, but I will say no more to avoid spoiler!

I particularly enjoyed the way the actors were directed to move by the plays writer, (also the director and producer). The way they moved in perfect unison, in sync with each other as they in slow acted, making full use of the open performance space as they did.  Their movements were sharp and smooth Jay, for instance, falling backwards into actor Morgan Beale’s arms as he caught her, Beale playing Jay’s older brother ‘Riley’. The characters also became animalistic at one point, squatting down to as they pretended to be tigers or lions (some kind of jungle animal will do for a description).

The minimalistic setting of a microphone stand, a single chair and a DJ docking station in the right hand corner of the stage from the audience’s viewpoint. There were also subtitles on the middle wall towards the back of the stage on a video screen as the characters used sign language to communicate to each other. This added another element to the play, the music lowering at this point towards the plays end. It almost reminded me of when I watched the thriller movie ‘A Quiet Place’ (2018).

Overall, this performance was fresh and interesting. The only comment I can say that would improve it was if the same messages and type of lines were not repeated, as there were some parts of speech that sounded similar to other parts that were spoken earlier on. Nonetheless, this was a well-executed performance with a talented two actor cast that I am glad I went to see.




Olivia is a third year English with Hispanic Studies student at the University of Nottingham. She enjoys playing team sports and doing anything performance related: up for going to the karaoke bar all day every day. Her ambition is to travel the world as much as she can. She is a reviewer for HerCampus Nottingham magazine.
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