This new piece by Isley Lynn offers a thoughtful and funny insight into how people have been coping in lockdown.

To say that 2020 has been an extremely unkind and difficult year would be an understatement. It certainly feels like that the lockdown has meant that we have lost our ability to communicate with people – even with the amount of technology available as this piece by Isley Lynn reveals.

Exploring the impact that lockdown has had on people’s lives – particularly concentrating on how it has felt to try and feel as though you’re together emotionally even if you are physically apart. All of this is explored through a number of different perspectives that focus on different elements of this topic.

Written with great insight by Lynn, Tiny Dancers has been impressively directed and brought to life by director Milli Bhatia, who really overcomes the difficulties of filming in lockdown with fantastic creativity and imagination. Bhatia has also managed to get the best out of the cast – all of whom offer strong and immensely mature performances.

The piece is particularly good because there lots of moments within it that the audience can completely relate to. In particular, when two characters vent their frustration at being separated over a virtual romantic dinner it is painfully realistic as to the impact of lockdown on relationships. Elsewhere, a character discusses with his friend about what it has been like to be living alone during lockdown. These sections are really reflective and work really well emotionally. Meanwhile the section in which a character has lost her job at the LGBTQ charity shop she worked in, forcing her to turn to her disdainful Aunt (who disapproves of her ‘choices’) for some money subtly highlights the financial impact of lockdown.

Throughout it all, every story is seamlessly put together with some lovely choreography that links each character’s perspective perfectly. It adds to the feeling of being connected to people even though physically separated – a reminder that actually we are all in this together.

Each performance has been wonderfully constructed, offering great dynamics between all of the cast – not an easy thing to do when everyone is in different places but a real credit to the talent that is on display from the National Youth Theatre.

Overall, this is a wonderfully mature show that is genuinely moving and funny. It will also help you feel less alone in the impact of lockdown – all showcased through the strong performances from the National Youth Theatre.

By Emma Clarendon

Tiny Dancers is available to watch through the National Youth Theatre’s Youtube channel until the 31st July.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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