Due to a mishap with some spilled coffee on a passport, the first two performances of The Nights were cancelled so it meant that Saturday night was the debut performance of this play in Adelaide. It was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year to rave reviews. The cast was changed for Adelaide and this was the two actors’ first performance of the play and the first time they have visited Australia.
Tonight was a sold-out performance and there was an air of anticipation in the crowd. Henry Naylor is the writer and this was the fifth year in a row that he has presented a play for the Adelaide Fringe and the Holden Street Theatre and in my opinion, this one was the best one yet. Good theatre entertains but great theatre makes you question your point of view and beliefs and believe me this was great theatre.
The Nights tells the story of a journalist who still burns for revenge against the extremists who killed a colleague of hers and her interaction with an antique dealer with a violent past. This was a fantastic experience it felt very real. It certainly is not for the faint of heart. Initially, there were a few laughs at the start of the play which gave the audience a false sense of security to where the play ended up. The Nights has a very serious subject matter and it is based on a very contemporary story. Henry Naylor is able to create a believable fiction from current facts.
The two actors Nicholas Boulton and Aoife Lennon were absolutely brilliant. They were both so believable in their roles. This was a powerfully affective play and I could clearly see the emotion on their faces. Nicholas has an incredible voice and has many roles throughout his career like Dr Who, Game of Thrones as well as many audiobooks and video games. Aoife has performed a critically acclaimed one-woman play called Killymock at the Edinburgh Festival.
The direction, lighting and sound for this play was also top class. I doubt I will see a better play during this Fringe and I hope to see it again to see how the performance evolves. Luckily it will be playing for the whole Fringe up to 15 March so everyone has plenty of time to see this highly recommended play.
Fringe Review By Richard De Pizzol
Tickets and show information from FringeTix.