Review: I Think We Are Alone, Theatre Royal Stratford East

With a shows team bringing together the minds of Scott Graham, Kathy Burke and Sally Abbott, you know that you are in for a spectacle when seeing what they have created. With all the gusto and wonders of a classic Frantic Assembly production, ‘I Think We Are Alone’ takes its audiences on an emotional, uplifting and heart-breaking journey (yep, it somehow manages all three all at the same time) through the lives of seven characters living independent streams of life, telling their stories and bringing you into their world where it is revealed that their paths are not so separate after all.

With the chilling, ground-breaking choreography and movement work that Abbott and Graham’s pieces always have to offer, this show propels itself into the hearts of all that get the honour to see it, with clever storylines, punching dialogue, and beautiful physical theatre. The episodic nature of the introduction of characters and the focus on monologue and singular scenes gives the piece a very alive feeling, and keeps the pace electric, as with all sequences of movement and choreography. The stage is divided by four, large, lit up rectangles, manipulated and moved constantly by the company to create scenes and rooms, and are used physically as both apparatus and architecture. The lighting design compliments every single scene, being able to transport characters and audiences to living rooms, night clubs, office blocks and even the sea front. 

You become engrossed in every single character and their story. Their depth (enabled through the intelligence of the acting and writing) becomes imperative in the extent to which you immerse yourself in their lives and the extent of the desire you experience for each of them to have their happy ending. With the spectrum of issues and experiences being presented by a company of just seven, it is impossible to not to be affected by the hunger and suffering you are seeing in these characters, and that is down to the undoubtable success of the entire team of the cast and creators. I have never seen a piece that so effectively manages to channel and deliver constant comedic, relatable, true dialogue, alongside painful storylines, all intermitted with mind-blowing movement and physical choreography. 

It was simply another feather in Frantic Assembly’s hat, and with the co-direction of Kathy Burke, it gives this company a revolutionary take on contemporary theatre that can do nothing but inspire and entertain the masses.

I Think We Are Alone is playing at the Theatre Royal Stratford East until the 21 March . For more information and tickets, see the Frantic Assembly website.