Nul Points! ★★★ Union Theatre | Apr 26 - May 20, 2023

Nul Points! tells the story of four friends through their reunions at six different Eurovision parties. Martin Blackburn's script has some very funny moments and provides more trivia about the European song contest than anyone needs to know! Acting school friends Josh (Kane Verrall), Daz (Marcus J Foreman), and Kat (Charlotte East) first get together for Eurovision 2012 and then they subsequently meet for 2013, 2014 and 2015. They are joined in these festivities by dancer/porn star Ryder (Sean Huddlestan) and Josh's mother, Gina (Adele Anderson). Gradually, their career rivalries, insecurities and emotional entanglements are exposed, but it is all peppered with lots of great one-liners. The first act is solidly set in the world of farce, but the timing and lightness required for that most difficult of genres isn't always here. For farce to succeed the audience has to be seduced into giving up its usual measures of realism and needs to accept the premises of absurdity in the world of the play. Neither for the playwright nor the actors is this an easy task, and it doesn't quite work here. The second act takes a darker turn, and the Eurovision parties of 2022 and 2023 show a grown-up crew who have new responsibilities, but are still grappling with baggage and guilt from the past. The clever barbs are still present, but the change in tone didn't really work for us. Suddenly, we'd left the world of Feydeau and entered that of Edward Albee. Nevertheless, there's a lot of fun in this show despite the narrative and its execution being a little uneven. The cast seemed gradually to become more comfortable in their roles, and we particularly liked Charlotte East's Kat. Despite the caveats, Nul Points! is worth a visit. After all, Eurovision is about pushing boundaries.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by East Photography.

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