Nul Points! at Union Theatre
With Eurovision hitting Liverpool this year it is unsurprising to see that London’s fringe theatres have a Eurovision themed offering and amongst them is Nul Points at The Union Theatre. Nul Points follows Josh and his friends from 2012 – 2023 at Josh’s annual Eurovision Party. From his best friends Kat (Katrina) and Daz, to Ryder, the stripper who turns up at the wrong house and develops into much more and finally Gina, Josh’s mum.
The Eurovision link itself is slightly tenuous and whilst the show is set each year at Josh’s annual Eurovision party this could have easily have been a birthday party or other significant event. That being said the show was littered with Eurovision references, from the names of the characters or some facts thrown out during the show from Josh and even his incessant serving of Bucks Fizz.
Act 1 of Nul Points is set between 2012 – 2015 and always feel fairly light hearted and whilst there is discussions about career success (or lack of it) and relationships it never feels heavy and at times I struggled to work out where the show was going to go. Act 2 sees us meet again in 2022 and the tone does a complete 180 and the tone changes to talk of suicide and self harm, along with sexual harassment. Whilst the themes that they were trying to portray were admirable the tonal shift was so sudden that it was jarring.
The format of the show also jars with the fact that the scenes are a minimum of a year apart means that the characters have to catch the audience up, paving the way for some odd conversations between close friends.
Adele Anderson plays mum, Gina, and the moment she opened her mouth I knew we were in for a bumpy ride. She consistently tripped over her lines and the character herself had very few redeeming features which might help me overlook this. Kane Verrall does a nice job with Josh, keeping the energy up and getting away with many of the quips. Charlotte East plays Gina and her performance is a standout as she manages to add a layer of intrigue to her character that the others seem to be devoid of. Marcus J Foreman plays Daz and Sean Huddlestand is Ryder and these 2 characters are left playing gay stereotypes with little else to flesh out these characters into people I want to find out more about, although this is the fault of the book rather than the performers.
So in the spirit of Eurovision, Making Your Mind Up and in order to help you Think About Things here are my final thoughts on Nul Points! The show misses bringing me Euphoria by a long shot and whilst the Dark Side of the show was intriguing this show will need a lot of work before it can Rise Like A Phoenix and battle with the Eurovision greats. I Can’t Go On for much longer so whether or not you chose to Believe In Me and this review I hope you all have a great Eurovision night itself and of course Congratulations to whomever the winner may be!
Nul Points is on at The Union Theatre until 20th May. To find out more and to book tickets you can visit their website here.