Nilaja Sun has created a beautiful, funny, tragic, inspiring and devastating one-woman performance with No Child. The story is of a young and hopeful drama teacher-artiste who goes to a rough school in Brooklyn to put on a performance with a tough group of students. She plays multiple characters, from the elderly janitor to each of the students in the class. It is based on her own experiences and everything in the performance rings so true.
At first, I felt that the characters were such caricatures that the performance would be funny, but couldn’t possibly carry much weight. I was so wrong. Once the audience knew the characters, Nilaja jumped from one to another so quickly that it felt there had to be more than one person on the stage.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to cry at film and theatre. I defy anyone to come away from this performance with dry eyes. Even thinking about it now is making me emotional. No Child is an amazing piece of theatre that shows exactly what one person can do on stage. Go and see it.
No Child is playing at Theatreworks in St Kilda until May 26. Really, go and see it.