No Miracles Here

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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no miracles here
Published 12 Aug 2017

The thing about life, yeah, is it's a bit like a dance marathon. The kind that was popular in America during the Great Depression, specifically. Like, there's so much pressure on us, the 'participants', to keep on dancing, yeah? But what if various factors prevent us from doing so? Don't want be knocked out the running of this crazy dance marathon known, quite simply, as life.

The Letter Room are here to tell us it's okay to do our own thing on this metaphorical dance floor – a noble sentiment, but one which would perhaps be better expressed in a less chirpy manner. This is an irritatingly cloying and upbeat exploration of mental health which only hints at the extreme sickness many have to endure.

No sooner have we been introduced to our house band and its frontman Ray do we learn that the reluctant star is feeling down. The circumstances of his depression are never satisfactorily explored, nor is his present frame of mind. The character goes on to reveal that he has been having suicidal thoughts, but without having first earned our emotional investment from a dramatic point of view. His redemption is soundtracked by tight and versatile, if ultimately unconvincing, musicianship. The performers of No Miracles Here seem to aim for wide-eyed, soulful conviction, but instead offer up sterile affectation.