Nadia Fall's new show Home finds music in homelessness
True tales from the young and homeless deliver a killer emotional blow at the National Theatre
What you need to know
Writer-director Nadia Fall's verbatim theatre show Home is playing at the National Theatre's The Shed. Fall, who recently directed Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, based her new play on interviews with residents of a London hostel.
Home is a portrait of Target East, a fictional London refuge for young homeless people. Although the setting and characters are fictional, their stories are real accounts by the homeless and those working with them. They include a house manager; a young man thrown out by his mother; and a boy who runs away after his best friend is stabbed.
The show features live music performed by the cast. Until 7 September.
What the critics like
Nadia Fall's Home "raises timely political questions about housing in a fresh and streetwise style", says Henry Hitchings in the Evening Standard. The whole cast excites and the snapshots of misery mingle with cheering stories of redemption.
There's plenty that's grim in this tough-talking piece, "yet it leaves you not just moved, but awed and uplifted", says Sam Marlowe in Metro. The authenticity of the material and the unflinching honesty of its delivery in hard-hitting monologues with hip hop, r'n'b and some staggering beatboxing delivers the emotional killer blow - an inspiration.
Fall's subtle, hopeful piece, is "affecting, transportative and funny", says Daisy Bowie-Sell in Time Out. Music maintains the rhythm of the show so we can hear these people's stories, but also witness their extraordinary spirit.
What they don't like
The show is "necessarily made up of fragmentary stories, and it's fragmentary in form", says Holly Williams in The Independent. Perhaps that's the only way to capture the range and transitory nature of these interconnected experiences, yet it doesn't completely cohere. ·