Review : No Particular Order

A refreshing take on a dystopian future with a despot in power, No Particular Order is an experimental take on authoritarianism. 

Lasting 90 minutes over a period 300 years, Joel Tan’s No Particular Order is pleasingly different.

The setting switches between different locations – living room, backyard, refuge, border – via words projected behind the actors, this show left a lot to the audience’s imagination. 

Daniel York Loh played his parts brilliantly. He made the audience shake with laughter at some points whilst at others, we were left silent, listening intently to his monologues about ‘left wingers jerking off to eachother’s outrage’ and ‘buying champagne with daddy’s credit card’. 

Chernobyl’s Pandora Colin, switched between mother, director of fashion house to refugee, all of which were played perfectly. Her scene with her daughter, played by Pía Laborde-Noguez, where they were hidden in the back of a food truck seeking refuge, saw a monologue about empathy. One that resonates with our own news cycle and the current crises across the planet.

As the show jumped hundreds of years, the character switches were sometimes confusing – at one point it was unclear whether they were playing aliens or humans. But either way, the four actors were able to fill up the room, introducing us to different scenes and expressing emotions clearly. They let us know where they were through a minimalist approach to setting the scene.

One thing that stuck out was the undercurrent of birds. The ceiling was shrouded in fabric and filled with feathers, these feathers fell to the ground as they jumped scenes and were symbols of plants, but also seemingly people – moving around, unchanging, always present. 

L-R back row Jules Chan, Pia Laborde-Noguez, Front, Daniel York Loh. Photo by Lidia Crisafulli.

Much of the symbolism was like this, metaphoric and experimental, challenging the audience to think and unconsciously relate the storyline back to our very society. 

The theme of protest definitely dominated. With discussions of ‘angry verses from the future’ and ‘dying political movements’, the unnamed society was desperate. 

Joel Tan hit many nails on the head with his story, though leaving the audience sometimes perplexed as to who was who, this show was an example of how being different is important in the world of theatre.

No Particular Order is on at Theatre 503 until the 18th June.

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