There is a Light That Never Goes Out: Scenes from the Luddite Rebellion is a historically and politically charged play that goes 100mph until the very end and leaves you in awe of the outstanding creativity that this piece has. Drawing from real historical letters and devised convosations this piece is very unique. And is executed brilliantly by a cast of 6 who play multiple characters. At times it is incredibly cinematic jumping from locations and characters in seconds . Throughout the play I was throughly engaged and thats not always the case with some plays I have seen…
Its beauty lies in its simplicity but saying that it must be very complicated to execute the genius sound design by Pete Malkin. His sound design replaces the set and it becomes a character in itself with the sound of machines rattling the theatre, tense atmospheric soundscapes and almost jump cut sounds, it deserves an applause at the end! There must be massive amounts of coordination between the actors and the technicians and you will know why if you see it! There is no set except a large red elevated catwalk jutting out of the wooden stage ( Designed by Naomi Quick-Cohen and Joshua Gadsby). This productions stripes everything back to having the stage manager/lighting/sound on stage level. There is also the quick change and props area on show so you see the actors changing into people. The change of a coat and accent transforms the actor into a different character beautifully. It is set in the 19th century but the style of acting and costume are set in the 21st so we can relate to the characters far more.
Dynamic is another word I would totally use for this piece, we go from small dialogue to the factory floor with genius elements of physical theatre. The use of microphones is very impressive with them being used as almost everything! It bursts with energy and drama and the chilling feeling when the historical events happen in the building you are sat in is very special. It is directed brilliantly by James Yeatman and it is created by James Yeatman and Lauren Mooney.
It is so great to see a play this fun and energetic about the creation of Manchesters political identity. Please go and see this if you are in Manchester because it is well worth watching! At the Royal Exchange until 10th August. It is definitely one of my favourite plays of 2019!
Thanks for reading!